It is important to have a few coping strategies when times get rough. Besides mantras, my favorite go to's are taking a few deep breaths, clary sage aroma therapy, and Rescue Remedy ( I am a big fan of flower essences). Another effective way to curb errant thoughts that I learned in a psychology class years ago is what I call a interceptor...it is a word or simple phrase that you use to intercept the thought and end it's course of direction. It's kind of like a football interception. I use the word Stop, forcefully- aloud or more often, internally. If I am still feeling vulnerable I will follow up with a safety mantra such as- I think only positive thoughts or You're very safe.
Using the interceptor or safety mantra is not an ostrich coping mechanism. I know we can't grow if we don't face our problems, but that journey need not be cast in a negative light. When I am feeling a bit more neutral and not so overwhelmed or helpless, I name my stuck places. Naming the areas of my life that bring up resistance or struggle creates signposts that let me see where the mud is deepest and my boots are stuck. It's that stuck-ness feeling that causes the talking heads to grumble so much, but naming, examining and acting- when and where you can, tames the talking heads, so you can continue along your path.
Things are easing up a bit for me over the last week or so and I have been able to sit in emptiness meditation again. Maybe it is the change in the weather. Soon it will be warm enough to sit in my garden and Earth without freezing my toes and the rest of me. Over the years I have found several ways to commune with spirit that engage, enlighten, and encourage me, but I also have times where just keeping my head up is a victory. Luckily my journey has taught me a trick or two along the way. I can't say that I am always on top of things, but I can say even when it seems very dark I know there is light just around the corner if I just keep going. I hope you can find your lightness as well.