In my mind, short mantras are the best mantras when I need to calm down. They bring me back to the present moment because they trigger me to reevaluate what matters right now. I invite you to try one of these mantras the next time you need a breather from chaos.
“First, it is an intention. Then a behavior. Then a habit. Then a practice. Then a second nature. Then it is simply who you are.” — Brendon Burchard
Mantras are short phrases, words or one word, that are meant to be repeated either out loud or silently to help you align with their meaning. Their meaning can be something that’s already given to you, or something that you craft yourself.
I find that mantras are effective tools when I give them my own meaning, so I support you in figuring out what really matters to you and then choosing the word/phrase that matches your intention to live close to that.
When we find ourselves in situations that tempt us to fall out of alignment with what matters, mantras can be a wonderful way to regain composure. It is a practice, nevertheless, which means it’s a good idea to try them out before we really need them.
That’s the real key to inner peace, I think, in the midst of chaos: to practice peace before there’s chaos. To practice how you want to live before you’re tempted to live another way. They are triggers that we set up for ourselves so that when the time comes that we need them, it’s already a second nature.
When you find yourself in the middle of an anything-but-calm situation, a short mantra can really help you come back to “center” and recalibrate—back to who you really are and want to be, and what honestly matters most to you.
First, I recommend you decide what matters to you and how you want to live. Make a list, if that suits you, detailing the qualities you’d like to embody (peace, love, zest, compassion, trust) and why these things matter to you. Notice when you feel like you’re living from this place, and pay attention to what brings you out of that feeling.
Now, choose your mantra (whether it’s from the following collection or another, or one that you created yourself). If the meaning I shared underneath resonates with you, use that as a reminder of what the mantra means to you. You may or may not want to alter this description as your practice continues.
If you need to calm down right now, you’re free to start repeating the mantra of your choice right away to remind you of who you are and what’s important in your life.
If you feel wonderful right now, wonderful! Start using your chosen mantra now and use it as a daily touchstone, repeating as often as desired. Set up reminders in your phone, write it down somewhere visible, and repeat out loud or silently in your head.
Mantras are great when you set them up as triggers attached to other behaviors. For instance, each time you walk through a doorway, that can be a trigger to repeat your mantra. Each time you sit down or stand up, get in or out of your car, walk into your house after a day of work, etc., bring to mind the mantra.
Play with the practice and then when you need it most, it’ll already be a pathway in your mind.
6 Short Mantras for Calming Down Fast
1. No big deal.
I’m sharing this first mantra from Zen Habits, where the phrase is described in greater depth with practical examples of how it could apply to nearly anything in life (aside from major things that are a big deal).
Meaning: The way I respond is a big deal, but the situation doesn’t need to be a big deal. If something can be mended, I can mend what needs mending. If I can help, I can do what I can do to help. If there’s nothing I can do to change a situation, I can learn to let it be. Either way: No. Big. Deal.
2. Only this.
I wrote a whole post dedicated to this two-word mantra because it’s been helping me out quite a bit.
Meaning: Whatever I happen to be doing, I do it from a place of mindfulness. I show up, fully and intentionally, for what’s right in front of me. I care about this. Only this has my undivided attention.If it has come, let it arrive. If it has gone, let it be gone. Let things be as they already are, then you can be free. You are even free to change what can be changed, in peace. tell a friend
3. Open wide.
This is a mantra from Melissa Ambrosini (that became the spark for her new book).
Meaning: When I feel myself shutting down or closing myself off to others, I soften and open wide. When my mind is wandering during an intimate conversation or dinner, I get present and open to the moment. When I’d rather be somewhere else, doing something else, but I’m here anyway, I open myself to what is.
4. All will be well.
Maybe not everything is well right now, but I am still willing to believe that all will be well. In some ways, that does make everything okay right now, even if it doesn’t seem okay. Trust is my language.
5. Love, still.
This means that I love because that is who I am, not necessarily what someone else is displaying. I love not despite the struggle but because of it. If there is fear or anger or sadness, I see it as a call for love. I see everything as a request from the universe to love deeper.“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” — Pema Chödrön tweet this
6. Release tension. Set intention.
I’m sharing this final mantra from Brendon Burchard, high performance coach, which he suggests using during transition moments.
Meaning: Before I begin what I am about to begin, I release tension from what I just finished and set an intention for this new beginning. Before I take this action, I let go of any residue from the past and set an intention for how I want to feel and live through this next action.
Which of these short mantras resonates with you?
What quality or qualities do you want to embody and live your life by?
Share your favorite mantra, intentions, and any stories of a positive shift with me in the comments.
Share these mantras with a friend who loves practicing peace (or would love to start).
If you see everything as part of a larger practice, then no failure can be final and no moment of frustration can ruin everything.