This 7-Word Mantra Saves Me Every Time I Feel Anxious

You would never meet me and think, this woman has anxiety. I walk into rooms wearing electric-berry lipsticks, flamboyant outfits (I’ve never met a ruffle I didn’t like), and tend to hold my head up and shoulders back (thanks to years of dance training). As a native New Yorker, I can be loud, bold, and assertive. I stand up for myself if I think I’ve been wronged. I actually love public speaking. And I have the social sensibility to know when to crack a joke at the right moment (or at least I think I do).

But behind my bouncy blowout is a head full of swirling thoughts. And I had no idea what was really going on up there until I worked with a life coach—Laurie Gerber from the Handel Group—and did a “thought log” for her. For this assignment, over a period of a week, I reflected on everything that came into my mind for five-minute sprints three times a day. I kept it in a shared Google Doc with Gerber, and we analyzed it later. Here are phrases copied and pasted directly from this exercise:

“I ate way too much during my husband’s birthday weekend and now my face is puffy. I am sick of dieting.”

“So stressed. I don’t feel like I am breathing. I hate this feeling. Just want to have a clear head. Trying to breathe and not clench my stomach. The second I relax, I feel tired.”

“Sometimes simple decisions drive me crazy.”

Looking at this now, months later, I can see how far I’ve come. Thankfully, I no longer feel this way. I’m eating balanced and my jeans fit nicely, I am tremendously less stressed, and I make smart decisions effortlessly. What happened: I learned how to get control of my mind, calm my anxiety, and be the better version of myself.

Yes, stopping and breathing plus daily meditation can diffuse frantic feelings. But I personally needed more than that. My journey involved hours of work and learning a simple mantra that saves me when old habits creep up. That seven-word phrase is:

I am the master of my mind.

If you can relate to these types of scenarios, keep reading to discover some of the techniques my life coach taught me for overcoming general anxiety.