Wellness Wednesdays #2: Mantras

So today is the second installment of a weekly series where I will ask a question related to the themes on my blog (mental health, self-care, community, poetry, etc.).  I am trying to get people talking, build a sense of community and increase awareness about mental health, a topic I am intensely committed to.  I want to see what’s going on in people’s heads, hear their stories, and gain some perspective and solutions.  This week’s question is:

People often have scripts, mantras, or sayings, that they repeat over and over again in their mind. Identify some common scripts you find yourself saying (good and/or bad). How do the good ones help you, how do you combat the bad ones?

you-got-this-mantras-mental-health

yeah, you.

My little mantras are so simple.  “You got this.”  I say it in the mirror every morning or any moment I begin to freak out over the smallest or most major things. It puts an extra pep in my step,  a change in posture, and it even makes me laugh when  I add a “girrrrrrl” or “boo”  to the end.   It tends to make me feel bad-ass.  I mean I am, *brushes shoulders off*, but it reaffirms my amazing Alise-ness.  One of the more recent mantras I have incorporated into my daily goings-ons is “Be great!”  My new and awesome friend, Maurice, introduced this to me a couple months ago.  I find myself saying this to myself and others.  Sometimes you need a reminder of your purpose, a declarative “get off your ass” statement to carry on.  On my mama, on my hood, the shit works.  Don’t judge me.

I have a bad habit,  that I’m currently trying to obliterate, of immediately discounting my ability to do a task. I say things like “What business do I have thinking I can accomplish xyz.?”  The “You got this” helps with this a lot.  It tends to counteract all the raggedy thinking when my brain has no ack-rite.  Try it, yo.

The bawse, beautiful, bestie, Bonique’a Matthews (who happens to be an amazing screenwriter) answered:

“Put your shoulders down, girl.”

One of my scripts actually originates from a friend. “Put your shoulders down, girl.” It’s silly, but it’s a wellness check. Sometimes, when my anxiety manifests itself in the physical,  I do certain things like hunch my shoulders. The “put your shoulders down, girl”  script helps me reel in my anxious thoughts and start to calm down. It’s been a great help before job interviews!

Erica Burks, of the amazingly, beautifully transparent blog, Simply Beez, answered:

mantras positive self talk

Dis one of her mantras. I like it.

Mine is this. I found this meme a long time ago and have it saved on  my phone and I revisit it because… self-appreciation is always needed, for the things you love about you and the things you’re working on loving about you. Plus, it gives me hope that this is what someone else may think about me and mean it. I’m still a thug, though, despite all of the sappy romanticism.

Some of the bad ones revolve around patterns of negativity I experienced growing up, and while it has been difficult learning how to “unlearn” those scripts, reaffirming my place here. I WAS designed for a particular purpose, and I’m getting closer to it each day. I am needed. And worthy. And special. And loved. I have gifts. I am a light.

 

Amazing writer, photographer/artist, and all around great guy, Maurice Thompson, answered :

I have been in some way, shape or form impacted by mantras my entire life. Prayers in church, relegation of rules and mnemonics to encourage remembering some fact or detail. Some harsh words from adults as a child felt just as powerful and intense, such as “you can’t do nothing right” – it cuts, and repetition makes it feel true, even when I know the opposite.

At this point in my life the greatest mantra I can ever imagine is “Thank You“. It doesn’t involve projection or hoping for something. It is the ultimate acceptance of exactly how it is right now, and it’s only in that moment’s acceptance that we can change anything.

The floor is now open for you to answer the questions in the comments below!

Love Alise Naturally AliseLove, Alise signature Alise Leslie mental health illness

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  • I have had many personal mantras throughout my life (even before I knew they were called that), and a lot of them were inspired by my Mama. MAMA MANTRAS. MOMTRAS.

    Ok.

    Nowadays, tho, I am summoning the spirit of Plies and telling myself, “AINNO QUITTING BIH!” It’s a dope way to hype myself up in a funny and not-too-much-pressure-because-that-overwhelms-me-more-when-I’m-already-overwhelmed-and-has-the-opposite-desired-effect … *breathes* … way.

  • So many good nuggets in here. I’m thankful you asked me to do this. And it’s never too late to start unlearning. <3

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