The “Be Gentle” Mantra To Ease Worry & Anxiety

Explore how to deal with difficult emotions that keep arising throughout your day as well as comforting and uplifting guided meditations that help to let go of critical thoughts.
Lou Redmond is a meditation teacher, author, and mindfulness educator.
Lou Redmond is a meditation teacher, author, and mindfulness educator.

Lou Redmond invites us to gently let go of anxiety and show compassion to arising worries and self-doubt by using a simple mantra. Also, discover comforting guided meditations at the end to be gentle with yourself.

When Waking Up With Anxiety

Have you ever woken up and felt a little off? Not physically, but emotionally? It’s a familiar yet unsettling feeling—one of loneliness, lostness, or lack of purpose. These emotions then turn into thoughts, and thinking about feelings makes them worse. Anxiety arises at what’s in store for the day, and there’s projection about how difficult it will be to handle.

In this instance, the feeling arose the day after a four-day trip. It was for a side job that supports me while I grow my business. I’m grateful for it, but returning home is difficult. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost time, and there is an unease that comes with the process of getting back into the swing of things. Whatever the reason, I sensed this despairing feeling during my morning meditation.

My initial thought went something like, “Oh shit, not today.” My reaction was resistance because of a reminiscence of feeling idle and without direction in the past. I felt a reminder of depression and hopelessness.

Read more: Psychotherapist Andrea Wachter outlines two scenarios of dealing with morning anxiety.  Which one do you choose for yourself?

How To Approach The Negative Emotion(s)

Although reflecting on the past is a necessary part of most spiritual development, for those that have been there, it can be frightening. If we’re not mindful, more negative thoughts will come, and be exacerbated by getting wrapped up in the story of the emotion. 

Thanks to my practice, I’m more equipped to label the feeling for what it is—separate and impermanent. It doesn’t mean anything; it merely is. I get to decide the story and how to handle it. 

I remind myself that the emotion is not me; it’s just a passing wave. Some say our job is to ride the wave, but that can be chaotic if we’re not good at surfing. Instead, meditation helps us dive under the water. When we slip below the threshing water, we can still feel the power above but aren’t dominated by it.

A Mantra Of Kindness For Yourself

In this way, I worked with the emotion I had that morning. I noticed where I felt it in my body and relaxed into it. I did this for a while, but the mind snuck its conniving voice in and said, “You’ve got so much to do today, you can’t feel like this. You won’t get it done.” It was at that moment the angelic words came to me, giving me a much-needed teaching: Be Gentle.

Ahhhhh, Be Gentle. What an amazing cue!

My interpretation was to apply it to any time I get down on myself for feeling unmotivated or any other self-deprecating belief. Remember, Be Gentle. Be Gentle on your thoughts, Be Gentle on your actions, Be Gentle with Yourself.

Read more: Meditation teacher Jessica Amos shares guidance for self-encouraments when doubting and judging yourself.

How To Be Gentle With Yourself Throughout The Day

As the day passed, the self-deprecating thoughts came, and each time, I paused and whispered those words to myself: Be Gentle. It subdued my mind’s control if only for a moment. It was like a comforting friend on whom I could keep calling. 

I’m grateful for the experience because now I can offer you the same cue for when you feel off. Use it anytime your mind wants to tell you all the ways you’re messing up and lists the endless reasons why you’re not enough. Instead of sulking in fictitious claims, try out Be Gentle. Allow its soft intention to ease your mind and, hopefully, your mood.

These comforting, reassuring, inspiring and uplifting guided meditations will help you work through difficult emotions, be gentle with yourself, let go of critical thoughts and retrain your mind to see new and expansive possibilities for the day, week, year and life:

  1. Be Gentle Lou Redmond 30:06
  2. Stop Judging Yourself Lou Redmond 31:30
  3. Expect Great Things To Happen Lou Redmond 29:10
  4. There's Nothing Wrong With You Lou Redmond 25:51
  5. Release Your Worry Lou Redmond 15:09
  6. Love Yourself Today Lou Redmond 15:11

Browse Lou Redmond’s large library of guided meditations that all help to be more gentle with yourself, increase self-love and self-trust and let go of worries.

Read more: There are many ways to bring your meditation practice off the cushion and gently connect with the present moment throughout the day. Discover ten one-minute meditations that expand your practice.

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