There have been many times throughout my life where I have felt as though my mantras were my only friends. They kept me going when I wanted to quit. They kept me sane when I thought I would go crazy. They gave me strength when I felt weak.
What is a Mantra?
The word ‘mantra’ is derived from two Sanskrit words – manas (mind), and tra (instrument or tool). So the literal translation for mantra would be tool or instrument of the mind.
- A sound, word, or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating
- A word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs.
- A word or phrase that changes the way we feel, that brings comfort and hope.
Mantras can be tools that we use to direct our minds from the negative self-talk we have to a more positive and uplifting mindset.
Many of us use mantras on a daily basis and don’t even realize it.
- When you’re having a bad day and you say the phrase “this to shall pass”.
- When someone is putting you down and you’re feeling like crap about yourself and you think “I am enough”.
- When you’re doubting your abilities and think you can’t accomplish something, you think “why not me?”
- When you don’t feel like going to the gym or cleaning the house and you tell yourself, “just do it”.
These are just a few examples of simple, meaningful mantras you can have available to change how you feel.
The “I am enough” mantra is my current mantra of choice. I realized I was continually telling myself I was not good enough, not doing enough, could never be thin enough, have long enough hair, legs, whatever.
When I change those thoughts of not being enough to “I am enough”, and repeat it in my mind, that negative self talk begins to change. It also changes the way I feel. Sometimes almost instantly.
How to Choose your Mantra
To choose your mantra it is important to do a little self reflection. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- What do you want or need more of in your life?
- What do you want to change about your life?
- How do you want to feel about yourself and others?
- What negative self-talk do you have that you want to change?
Decide on a word or phrase, or create a positive ‘I am’ statement for your mantra.
Example: I am enough.
Once you have your mantra, say it aloud. Feel the word or phrase. How does it make you feel when you say it? Words have different vibrations. When voiced aloud, words have different inflections, tones and rhythms depending on the definitions or meanings we have for them.
Example: Say each of the following words slowly out loud:
Do you notice the change for each word you automatically make? It’s important to be sure the word or phrase you choose evokes the emotion and meaning you want from it.
How To Use Your Mantra
You can use your mantra in many ways
- In mediation
- Speaking, thinking, chanting or even singing your mantra
- Whenever a situation arises where you want to change your thoughts or how you are feeling
Make sure to feel the vibration of the word or phrase, and picture the change you want. You can have more than one mantra but I would suggest just having one at the start of your practice. Once you become comfortable with it then add another if needed. Mantras will change over time depending on the circumstance of your life.