When you dreamt of your wedding day as a kid, playing dress up in an oversized, hand-me-down white dress, you probably didn’t realize how much stress would be coupled with your utter happiness. Even if you’re lucky to be marrying the love of your life, being involved in every color, plate and flower decision is suddenly waiting for your approval. And though you’d love to be able to take a leave of absence from your job to plan your big day, most of the time, you'll feel like you're taking on two full-time gigs in the months leading up to your wedding date. Long story short? You probably feel stressed…all. the. time.
To help ease your anxiety and help you focus on the silver lining, experts recommend mantras as an effective tactic. Less complicated than attempting to meditate when you need to call back the cake baker and schedule your wedding rehearsal, mantras can be used no matter where you are, what you’re doing or how you’re feeling.
“Mantras can be helpful to reduce stress, lower heart rate, and calm breathing,” explains yoga teacher Anita Perry. “A repetitive, positive mantra helps to tune out negative thoughts, refocus and rewire the brain.”
Not sure what to tell yourself when you feel like freakin’ the eff out? Here, some mantras to get you through the blunders:
“I am calm.”
...even though you’re anything but calm, this mantra will get your heart to stop racing and help you focus on the task at hand. Especially when something you really wanted fell through or when someone who you depended on dropped the ball.
“This is a great mantra during wedding planning because sometimes planning does not goes as planned,” yoga instructor Michelle Swiatkowski Bass says. “When the plans don't work, you have a choice to stay calm and trust that everything will work out regardless.”
“I am confident.”
When you feel your head start to boil and that frog in the back of your throat begins to chirp, you have a few choices: you can have an episode or you can remind yourself that you’re capable of doing everything on your to-do list. This mantra can help you remember that even if you don’t get everything you thought you wanted, your wedding day will still be special. “Sometimes while wedding planning, your budget might not meet your desires. This was the case for me when it came to decorations. The decorator's bill was extravagant, yet I did not want to compromise the decor and feel of the wedding,” Bass shared. “Staying confident that the day would still feel and look the way I wanted helped me accept that I needed to cut back in order to stay within budget.”
“I am fortunate.”
So your mom raised an eyebrow at the price tag on your dream gown. Instead of guilting her (and maybe embarrassing yourself at the bridal salon), Bass says coming from a place of gratitude will help you from starting an argument you’ll regret. “Despite whatever drama came along with wedding planning, at the end of the day it was always about spending the rest of my life with my soon-to-be-husband. Being able to marry is a privilege, and it is important not want to forget this during the stress of wedding planning,” Bass says.
“I am not responsible for anyone but myself.”
Regardless if you’re getting married, hosting a dinner party or just meeting pals for happy hour, there are very few things you can control about social situations. The biggest one that’s out of your hands? Your wedding guests' actions. So if you’re worried about someone drinking too much or an awkward conversation coming up, yoga teacher and co-founder of Bad Yogi Erin Motz says to remind yourself to let go of stressors that won’t get you anywhere. “You are not responsible for anyone else's behavior. You don’t have to babysit, you don’t have to do damage control, and anyone’s poor behavior doesn’t reflect negatively on you— it reflects negatively on them,” she says. “You are responsible for yourself and no one else, so release the pressure to micromanage the experience of every single guest at your wedding. Bask in the glory of this day and let the rest fade into the background.”
“I choose peace.”
When your spouse-to-be is late to your premarital counseling? When your dad makes a big deal over the suit he doesn’t like to wear? When a bridesmaid cancels attending your bachelorette party, last-minute? These tough moments in wedding planning are when Motz says to remind yourself of a simple choice: peace. “It’s no fun to be stressed, it’s not enjoyable to be anxious over small things, and it’s unpleasant to lose sleep every night worrying about minutia. Yet for some reason, our brains love obsessing over these things,” Motz says. “I’m getting married in two weeks and during wedding planning, I decided I had to step back and actively choose peace. Not force myself to stop thinking about stressful things, but actually make a conscious decision to be at peace. Every time I was tempted to go down a stressful line of thought, I’d pause and repeat this mantra. It lifts the pressure off your shoulders when you realize, ‘Ah, this doesn’t have to be stressful. I can actually let this go and it will be ok. The world will not end. I’m consciously and strategically loosening my grip on this. I choose peace instead.’”