"My daily wellbeing mantra was inspired by the 'Serenity Now' Seinfeld episode."

Image via NBC.

I’ve never really been one for ‘mindfulness‘. My idea of looking after my wellbeing is sitting down with a rom-com and a tub of ice cream. The one time I tried meditative yoga, I fell asleep.

So I’ve always read with a kind of bemused interest when people talk about their “daily mantras“, until I found my own, in the most unlikely of places – a Seinfeld episode.

Bear with me.

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It was one of those days where things just hadn’t gone my way. I’d stepped out the door and been soaked by the rain, misplaced my train ticket, missed the train, forgotten my lunch which I’d gotten up early to make… you get the picture.

Getting home, I was just ready to go to bed and sleep it off. I turned on the TV, looked for something mindless and decided on Seinfeld – a show that I wouldn’t call myself a fan of, but had watched a few times. (Post continues after gallery.)

It was the episode called ‘Serenity Now’, where George’s dad is given a relaxation tape by his doctor, which advises him to say the phrase “Serenity Now” whenever his blood pressure gets too high, to calm him down.

The only problem? Rather than saying the words softly and calmingly, he screams them out.

After hearing about it, Kramer decides he’ll try the relaxation method too, saying it in a calmer state with the addition of shimmery hands.

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“The anger just melts right off, serenity now, serenity now,” he tells Jerry.

I laughed along, turned it off and went to sleep.

A week later, I got a frustrating email that something I had been looking forward to for a long time had been cancelled. Getting ready to send back a snarky response, I found myself saying ‘Serenity now’. Out loud.

Other ways to meditate
In my mind, it looked a little something like this. "Serenity Now." Image via iStock.

Once the feeling of immediate embarrassment had died down (and I'd checked to see that no-one had actually heard me) I realised that I genuinely did feel a little calmer.


A few days later, I had a function where I knew there would be a woman who I really, really disliked. As she approached me, I decided to give it another shot. I muttered the phrase under my breath, visualising somewhere calm and peaceful, and was then able to hold a smile and a reasonably friendly conversation with her and be the bigger person.

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I knew I was onto something when I was able to stay totally cool, calm and collected when my partner told me that we couldn't do our date night this week because he'd decided he needed to go to the football instead.

Since then, it's become my wellbeing mantra - something I say whenever I'm feeling stressed, pissed off, frustrated or overwhelmed. (Post continues after gallery.)

Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous . And I'm well aware that the whole point of the episode was to show how ridiculous these kind of mantras can be (as one character puts it, it just bottles everything up: "It's 'Serenity now, insanity later'!").

Not the best way to do it.. Image via NBC.

But it really does work for me.

Yes, it's not Shakespeare or the Dalai Lama and I know it's not quite as eloquent as "Carpe Diem" - but it's a much nicer phrase than what I really feel like saying during times of anger.

It's also taught me a few things.

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It's shown me that it doesn't matter whether your mantra or trick is something that other people do - what's most important is doing what works for you regardless.

It's shown me that we let far too many things bother us that we have no control over.

It's shown me that perhaps this mindfulness business has some benefits in it after all.

And if anyone tries to make fun of me? I have just two words for them: Serenity. Now.

What's your daily mantra?