This too shall pass – how it helped my mind keep me going through Covid

November 26th 2021

What I did to help my mental health during the Virus


Much has been published on how to help yourself relieve the physical symptoms of Covid.  I have received many suggestions around vitamin supplements, what to eat etc.  But I have found little available to help with the mental pressures of lost work, isolation, withdrawal of access to the things that buoy you up….

So here is my contribution and it is a tool that I fortunately don’t need to use often, but love knowing it is there when I need it.  And this week, boy, I needed it!

This Too Shall Pass is a mantra – a saying you repeat to yourself over and over again.

It works because your mind hears everything you say – and think – and treats it as your reality.  And this particular little saying is all the more powerful because it is also factually true – nothing is forever and so it will pass.

Our survival instinct is the strongest instinct we all have.  And when you are ill, tapping into this can be a powerful contributor to your recovery.

The placebo effect is well accepted in the medical world – people recovering from serious illnesses through taking nothing more than a sugar pill.  And it is largely because that sugar pill gives them hope.

This is what ‘This too Shall Pass’ does too.

How can 4 words make a difference?

Knowing that something will come to an end gives your mind hope.  It is like the little glimmer of light in a dark tunnel.  And when you embrace that light, the darkness no longer has power over you.

When you keep your focus on the light by repeating the phrase, the light gets brighter and in time, the light is all you see and you are out of that dark tunnel

How to use a mantra

This Too Shall Pass may not work for you in the same way it works for me and that is OK.  We are all individuals.  So create your own mantra.

There are 3 rules:
1.  It must be in the present tense – ie not “I will be OK”

2.  The shorter the better – too many words and you will forget it!

3.  Write it in the positive – ie change “I am not a victim” to “I am a survivor”

No-one need ever know your mantra, it is yours. The key to having one, is using it!

Why do Mantra's work?

Cast your mind back to primary school.  We learned our times tables through repetition.  We learned our spellings through going over them again and again.  And now we can give the answer to 3×5 or spell words without thinking.

Repeating something in conscious awareness then moves it into the subconscious part of the mind – the autopilot bit where it just runs on it’s own. And at this point it becomes part of that knowledge base of things you know to be true.  And here-in lies the power.  It is then part of your belief system – a ‘given’ and so your mind no longer doubts it.

This Too Shall Pass is something I know to be true.  I will feel better, this will become a memory and that keeps me (and hopefully you) moving forward.

This too shall pass is one tip of many shared in an online course called Stress Busting Tips for Control freaks.  It shares with you many of the tips I have learned as a therapist to help reduce stress.  Find out more about it here.

Caroline Cavanagh is an anxiety specialist  and hypnotherapist in Salisbury, Wiltshire.  She is an author and public speaker and would love to talk to you if you would like to know more about her work

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