Well-Being//

These Phrases Will Help You Recharge Your Mental Battery When You Need It Most

From one-word phrases to song lyrics, these words of wisdom will help you stay optimistic, even when things aren’t going your way.

mimagephotography / Shutterstock
mimagephotography / Shutterstock

This Mental Health Awareness Month at Thrive, we’re thinking about one of our favorite Microsteps: Choose an affirmation — it can be a line of poetry, a quote, a song lyric — that helps you find your place of peace, and repeat it when you begin to worry or ruminate. Doing so can help you reduce stress in the moment — and the best part is, there’s no shortage of affirmations to choose from! 

We asked our Thrive community to share the affirmations and phrases that help them mentally recharge and feel more optimistic. Which of these will you recite in your daily life?

“I am exactly where I need to be.” 

“When I find myself wrapped up in the future and my thoughts start drifting toward how far I have to go, I repeat this mantra to myself. It anchors me in the present moment and helps me trust that everything is unfolding exactly as it should.”

—Charlotte Swire, wellness practitioner, Manchester, U.K. 

“I am enough.”

“I am enough for completing this task, building my practice, and moving on. I don’t need anyone’s approval or justification because I am enough.”

—Alla Adam, startup coach, Chicago, IL

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

“This quote, from the poet Mary Oliver, has been the foundation of my journey. It’s what I lead with when speaking about resilience and grit at schools and corporations. It’s what I share with my kids and coaching clients when asking them to dig deep about the path they want to take, and emphasizing how important it is to discover your gift and then give it away. It’s what gave me strength when I made a goal of 100 rejection letters before becoming a published author.”

—Siobhan Kukolic, author, inspirational speaker, and life coach, Toronto, ON, Canada

“All is well in the moment.”

“Repeating this mantra reminds me to come back to the present and observe that I am fully breathing and living in the moment. And it simply helps me relax!”

—Lennis Perez, wellness consultant, Austin TX

“One day at a time.”

“Sometimes, you need to take things just one hour at a time. This phrase reminds me to stay present, no matter what happens.”

—Keith Fulfer, certified personal accountant, Collierville, TN

“Say you can, or say you can’t. Either way, you’re right.”

“This is what I repeat in my head when I need to do something tedious and find myself coming up with excuses about why I should put it off. It can be anything, like cleaning the house, working out, planning a trip, applying for a new job, or writing an email. Say you can write a book, or say you can’t write a book. Either way, you’re right!”

—Jillian Potashnick, author, Las Vegas, NV

“You is smart, you is kind, you is important.”

“When I was recovering from an abusive relationship, I would default to this mantra from the movie, ‘The Help.’ I’d say it over and over again to calm my thoughts and reinforce my self-worth. This mantra is still part of my final Savasana in my yoga practice.”

—Peggy Schipper, business management, Wayne, PA

“Do the things you need to do to feel the way you want to feel.”⁠

“This quote comes from the author Danielle LaPorte. It has stuck with me ever since I read it. There are many mornings when I’m feeling a little lethargic. On those mornings, I remind myself that feeling the way I want to feel means drinking some cold water or making a healthy smoothie, taking a walk outside, or rolling out my mat for 10 to 15 minutes of pilates.⁠ This approach and mindset is so helpful in motivating me to do the things that will help me become the healthiest version of myself.”

—Robin Long, pilates instructor and CEO, Santa Barbara, CA

“If you feel insignificant, you better think again.”

“When I’m feeling down and need some positive reinforcement, this lyric from Beyoncé’s song ‘Bigger’ lifts my spirits.” 

–Kathya Rosas, content director, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

“Live in the moment. Appreciate the now.”

“I say this to myself every day. On May 14, 2013, when I was 39, I was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Astrocytoma, a brain tumor. I immediately started to see life through a new lens. I saw how fragile it truly is. I realized life wasn’t about looking back at yesterday or looking forward to what’s coming next; it’s about understanding how limited our time really is. This inspired me to appreciate every moment. Eight years have passed, and I still receive tests to make sure the cancer hasn’t come back. I will continue to get those tests for the rest of my life. And every day, I remind myself to live in the moment and appreciate the now.”

—Matthew Newman, financial services, Washington Crossing, PA

“I’m giving myself a pass.”

“This mantra reminds me that I can be gentle with myself when it comes to outcomes. It helps to crush any angst too.”

—Kristin Meekhof, author and resilience and wellness expert, Royal Oak, MI

“Let it be messy until it’s not.”

“As a recovering perfectionist, giving myself the grace to be imperfect has been a constant challenge. This quote, said by my former supervisor and an incredible mentor, was shared with me during a brainstorming meeting for a new program I was launching. It not only gave me the courage I needed to move forward with my bold ideas, but also gave me the peace and comfortability needed to be less critical and more innovative.”

—Zoe Hunter, student affairs professional, New Haven, CT

“Breathe” and “Now”

“I use single-word mantras to prompt my mind, body, and my emotions to reconnect with a safe and calm state. I use ‘breathe’ when I’m stressed, anxious, or when I’m processing past trauma. In those moments, I just focus on breathing: a deep breath in and very long breath out. I use the mantra ‘now’ when I want to be laser-focused on a task.”

—Daisy Nguyen, holistic well-being coach and founder, Sydney, Australia

“Happiness is a habit.”

“When stress hits, I try to acknowledge it and let it take over for a few minutes. After those few minutes, I make a conscious effort to think of things that make me happy.”

—Supriya Kumar, fintech marketing specialist, Manila, Philippines

“This is hard, but I’m OK.”

Something I coach my clients to do during moments of upset is to stop, close their eyes, put a hand over their heart, and say this mantra. The idea is to acknowledge and sit with whatever feels difficult, and to know that it, like everything, will pass. My teachers, Tara and Kristin, taught me this.”

—Adriane David, mindfulness coach, Calgary, AB, Canada

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