10. All situations are temporary.
Nothing lasts forever. We know this intellectually. Plants die. Buildings collapse. Tires go flat. Hot cups of tea go cold. Everything is always in transition.
So let's apply that knowledge to ourselves when things aren’t going according to plan. We know that the stress is our cup of tea. Right now it’s too hot to drink and it’s kind of frustrating because we’d really like to take a sip of the thing we paid 5 bucks for.
Eventually we forget about the cup because we are talking to our friend or reading or working. Five minutes later, we return to our cup and FINALLY we get to enjoy the flavor. And we better enjoy it during those moments because ten minutes later it’ll be cold.
And here is the key: even when the tea goes cold, we’ve gotta find a way to enjoy it. Because the tea is still tea! It has transformed a little, but it’s still tea. In fact, it’s still the tea you picked off of the menu and paid 5 bucks for!
So when you life goes cold for a bit, either enjoy it for what it is or know that you can find a way to warm it back up if you’d only take a little time to look.
9. There is no wrong decision.
When you’ve done millions of pro/con lists, and you’ve flipped coins hoping that you’ll know which choice is the one you want before the coin hits the ground, but you come out empty handed, you might need to know that there is no such thing as the wrong decision.
We begin to think of decisions as right or wrong when we are solely outcome oriented. But life isn’t about reaching goals. It isn’t about checking boxes. It isn’t about getting the gold stars.
Life is about learning, and growing, and becoming someone you’re proud to be. Who cares if your decision doesn’t work out? Who cares if you have to work harder? Who cares if other people don’t approve? You can find ways around all of those problems.
If you’re focused on being the person who makes you excited to wake up in the morning, then congratulations! You’ve achieved more than most. When you can be at peace with the decisions you make simply because the choice was yours and you developed the courage to follow your gut, then say goodbye to stress.
Stress has no place in authenticity.
8. I’ve survived all of the difficult moments of my past.
Take a moment to think about all of the things you’ve been through in your life.
It’s probably been a long road. You’ve probably seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You’ve probably had days you can’t even remember because they were so basic. You’ve probably experienced humiliation so severe you thought you’d never make it out of that moment with all of your sanity. But here you are. Glorious. And ready to make the most out of the experiences you have left.
Be proud of your past. And know that if you’ve made it this far, you have the tools to keep going. You have the knowledge to get you through the worst storms. You have the courage to take leaps you never thought possible. You have the skills to find any resource you could ever need.
And if you need to rebuild something right now? Apologize? Start from scratch? Make a change? Bust a complete U-turn in the middle of the biggest street in Los Angeles? YOU CAN DO IT! You’ve been through this before. And now you’re older. Wiser. More confident. More settled. More at peace, and simultaneously more of a warrior-goddess. This will be easy. Say it out loud, loves. THIS WILL BE EASY. At the very least it will be fun.
7. Be still and know.
Get still. This can be so hard in our lives these days. It seems like many people have decided that being still means being inactive. That isn’t true! When we get still, we gain clarity. And having clarity about a situation is the biggest accelerating factor when trying to de-stress.
So how do we get still?
We have to focus. Focus on one idea. One task. One moment. And find joy in that stillness. Zone in. You might only be washing a dish – but as you wash, completely zone in on the beauty of that dish. On the texture of the soap. The sound of the water. The heat of the plate as it warms up. Enjoy every second of it. And know that in this moment, the connection between you and the dish is all there is. Be centered. Doing this is typically called practicing mindfulness - giving your complete awareness to the present moment. Not worrying about the future and refusing to be consumed by the past, while at the same time understanding that the mind wanders and if it does, there is no need to be concerned because you can always readjust your focus.
6. I trust the guidance of the Universe.
We can’t control everything. We aren’t supposed to control everything. When we try to take the reigns in every aspect of our life, often times we walk right into a big ol’ pile of stress. No one wants to be in that pile. So let go.
Choose to believe that whatever you’re dealing with is being worked on by some entity bigger than yourself. Choose to believe that where you are is okay! You are enough, right now, in this moment! Choose to believe that when your intuition is whispering in your ear, it is giving you a free pass. You don’t have to stress or be worried if you’d just activate the power of trust into your life.
I know what some of you are thinking. I can just hear it now. “What if I trust and then everything falls apart?” Here’s the magical part… nothing ever TRULY falls apart. Because every experience opens us up to a deeper understanding of who we are. Every time you think something is breaking down, YOU’RE being built up. It’s like the best black Friday deal you could ever imagine. Yeah, you’re still dishing out money for that TV, but you’re paying WAY less than you would have when it first came out. There’s always a give and a take to every moment. A push and a pull. Balance is all about being fluid enough to operate within the movement.
Understand that things might not be going the way you’d hoped, but because they aren’t, you just might find something even better than your original plan.
5. I deserve to rest.
If you want to rest, REST! Resting is not being lazy. Resting is not a waste of time. We need recharging time just like all of our devices need it. We need time to power off, to let our brains take a break, and to give ourselves some TLC.
Don’t feel guilty for this! Because if you’re trying to rest… but the entire time you’re worried about what you’re not getting done or your thinking about what someone else will say if they see you took a nap… then you’re not resting at all. If this is the case for you, you might really benefit from #1 on this list. Go read it. Now. It will help.
4. I love myself.
This one is so, so powerful. And it can be so challenging. If we want to lessen the stress in our lives, we have to love ourselves. One of my favorite ways to practice self-love is to journal.
You'll love these journals from Meditate and Wonder:
Think about it, would you want someone really important to you to be constantly stressed and overwhelmed? Of course not! You’d do whatever you could to help them. You’d go to dinner. You’d talk it out. You’d dance it out. You’d blast some Tupac and feel much, much better! Even if Pac isn’t your favorite. Because you LOVE that person! And you’d do anything to make them feel better.
Here is the million dollar question… Why is it so hard for us to love ourselves in the same way? Make the sacrifice. No. Actually, it isn’t a sacrifice at all. There is nothing in the world more important than loving yourself. And just saying it isn’t enough. Just like in a relationship if your saying I love you but when you come in the door you run to your office or the shower or the TV before you run to your loved one… something’s wrong. So you’ve gotta put that love into action. Treat yo’self! And know that whatever decisions come from a place of love for yourself can only move you forward.
3. Everything always works out.
It really does. Things might not work out when you think you need them to, but in order to release the stress in your life, your timeline’s gotta go! When you stop worrying about WHEN, you’ll make space to enjoy other aspect of your life. While you’re enjoying life the answers will come.
Sometimes, enjoying life IS the answer. If something is stressing you out, you can sit and dwell on forcing some kind of arbitrary change to happen, or you can let go of the stress and go do something you enjoy. The enjoyment can be whatever you like. A bubble bath. A walk around the block. A hot cup of coffee. A massage. A hug from someone special in your life. A phone call with your mom. (That one ALWAYS works for me. Thanks, Mom!)
Whatever brings you joy, spend time focusing on that. And even if the solution to your stress doesn’t show up immediately, at least you’ll return to your problem solving with a smile on your face and some love in your heart.
2. Everything comes on time. I am patient.
Know that you don’t have to have the solution for everything immediately. Enjoy the process of life unraveling FOR you. Easier said than done, right? Trust me, I know.
But I’ll tell you this: when you finally let go of whatever is overwhelming, when you say “I will not let this take my peace,” and you simply smile anyway, things will begin to shift.
Don’t spend all of your time waiting for the shift to happen. You’ll end up more stressed. Or upset. Or sad. Or whatever negative emotion is your habitual go-to. Instead, take a 4-second breath in and then a slow 4-second breath out. Smile. Relax. Let life surprise you with something beautiful right when you least expect it.
1. Use the flow of your breath as a mantra. Simply focus on the soothing hum of your inhale and exhale.
The sound of the waves are always so relaxing. Meditation recordings often use the noises of the ocean to calm their listeners for hours on end. This is not an accident. They do it because it works. People are drawn to the water because it heals. It soothes. And if you’re a Pisces like I am, it’s basically a freaking life line. So if you can – get to the beach! Or a lake. A river. A waterfall. A pool. A koi pond. A bathtub. You get the point…
Listen to the water move. Listen to its fluidity. Listen to the way it has let go of resistance.
Then allow your breath to follow. Inhale deeply. Exhale through an open mouth. Release your jaw. Release the tension in your face. Release whatever has been building up in your body. If you feel the need to release sounds while exhaling, do it!
Follow your body’s lead. It knows what will heal you. Focus on the ocean-like sound of your breath. Close your eyes. Think of nothing else. If you mind wanders, simply return your thoughts to your breath. Place your hand on your stomach and feel the rise and fall of your core. Allow your breath to be fluid.
Allow your mind to be fluid.
Bonus mantra: thank you.
If you want to learn how to implement these mantras into your life in a deeper way, if you're interested in learning how to be more mindful and find peace in life's chaotic moments, check out Meditate and Wonder's official Mindfulness Meditation course!