It would be an understatement to say that our lives have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from the staggering and ever-increasing case count and death toll, how each of us life, work, go to school, and socialize has all changed tremendously in a very short period of time.
On top of this, add widespread civil unrest, hurricanes, wildfires, and a U.S. Presidential Election that has already broken records for early voting and campaign spending. Our collective attentions have been mired in world events for months, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.
At the same time, all of this is contributing to the rise of an even larger pandemic that we’ve been facing as a species for decades: Anxiety.
In 2017, the researchers at the World Health Organization and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revealed tha 1 in 7 people globally suffer from some form of mental illness. That’s one billion people—billion, with a “B. Anxiety is by far the world’s most common mental illness, affecting more than 280 million people globally.
And these numbers are not moving in the right direction. In the past year, rates of anxiety and depression symptoms have skyrocketed:
Unfortunately the stigma around mental illness is still very much alive, and as a result only about 1 in 3 people suffering from a mental illness will ever receive treatment for it. The rest of us will suffer in silence, blaming ourselves for our condition and convincing ourselves that we’re incapable of change.
But there is a better way. Affirmations might not be able to resolve your feelings of anxiety or depression, but they can be powerful tool in helping to manage your symptoms while you seek longer-term help.
Affirmations for Anxiety
To inspire your thinking, here are some of the most powerful affirmations that I’ve found useful in managing my own personal battle with anxiety.
Not all of these will work for you. Read each one aloud or, at minimum, subvocalize them, paying attention to the emotional impact each one drives with in you. Invariably, some statements will “speak” to you more than others, and I encourage you to choose only the one or two statements that you truly connect with.
Research also indicates that affirmations are only effective when their content is realistic and believable. In other words, you can’t convince yourself to believe something you don’t actually believe to be true.
Instead, choose statements that remind you of the truths that you too often fail to remind yourself. Affirmations are best employed to help you reset your perspective, and stop your mind winding down a path of negative thinking.
- I endure this burning so that I might give light.
- I know the only thing that matters is what I do from now on.
- My feelings are temporary and they do not define me.
- Anxiety is a feeling just like any other. It is temporary and it will pass.
- I release everything that weighs me down.
- Anxiety might make me feel uncomfortable but I am in charge of my mind and body.
- I am training myself to become curious, joyful, and full of wonder.
- Everything is temporary. This, too, shall pass.
- I am free of anxiety and am living a calm life.
- I breathe in relaxation, I breathe out tension.
- I am calm and still. I am transformed by each breath that flows through me.
- I am able to slow down and take slow breaths.
- I am at peace on the inside, no matter what happens on the outside.
- I am able to slow down and take slow breaths
On Inner Strength
- I am capable of solving any problems that face me.
- I am safe and in control.
- I have everything I need for a happy life.
- I am at peace with what happened, what is happening, and what will happen.
- I have so much to be grateful for in my life.
- I acknowledge my own self-worth.
- I am comfortable being very uncomfortable.
- I take the path of most resistance, and I am stronger for it.
- I possess the qualities I need to find solutions.
- My happiness depends only on knowing that I’ve done everything I can.
- There is a lesson in every experience. I am learning, and I am growing.
- There is good coming into my life.
- There are positive outcomes I am not yet aware of.
- Everything that is happening now is truly for my highest good.
- I will thrive, prosper, and have joy.
- I am closer to finding what I am looking for and to living my vision.
Anxiety—like all of our emotions—is a sensation no different than an itch demanding to be scratched. Our minds often convince us that scratching is the only path to relief, and so we give in. But if you choose to do so, you can accept the sensation and let it pass.
Of course, this is much more easily said than done. Our society has conditioned us to hold ourselves to standards much higher than we hold others. We are brought up to fear failure, to believe that failure somehow makes us inferior to those around us. But this could not be farther from the truth. Failure is practice. To fail is to have tried.
I hope at least one of these statements resonates with you and can find a place in your daily routine. Perhaps, even, in your personal manifesto. With a little patience and a lot of hard work, you can begin to manifest the incredible strength and confidence that you already have inside.