It's amazing how a simple sentence can make an unbearable day slightly more bearable—if not a whole lot better. While mantras—simple syllables phrases that you repeat—may stem from an ancient practice, Sherianna Boyle, a professor and counselor, has given them a modern spin in her book, Mantras Made Easy. From self-affirmations for stressful moments to simple reminders to be mindful, we selected some of the most powerful mantras for what you might be needing right now.
"I have something good to say and I choose to say it!"
Have you ever had a positive or kind thought and held yourself back from sharing it? Perhaps you loved a yoga class but never took the time to express it to the teacher, or you were touched by the kind gesture of another but felt awkward letting her know. Giving other people compliments or thanking them for their time and attention brings happiness to both parties. Let's face it, even the most confident people could use a pat on the back now and then. Make a point to let others know they are doing a good job and watch how your happiness increases too!
"I believe in my abilities and strengths."
According to a March 2014 Psychology Today article, focusing on your strengths decreases depression and increases healthy behaviors such as an active lifestyle. In order to focus on your strengths, you must first recognize what they are. Ask yourself two questions:
1. In what areas do I feel strong?
2. In what areas am I getting stronger?These areas can be as simple as feeling strong in a particular skill such as cooking, drawing, or reading. You may have strong interpersonal skills, or maybe you are pretty good at getting organized or using a computer. Take a moment now to acknowledge what you are good at as well as the skills you look forward to developing.
"Now that I have released all excess stress, I am calm and peaceful."
Panic can feel like the rug is being pulled out from underneath your feet. Not all stress is bad, but sometimes you might carry a bit too much of it. If you feel panic, bring your awareness to your larger muscle groups (thighs and buttocks) and relax them. Begin to recite this mantra while placing your feet flat on the floor. You may even want to rub the tops of your thighs with the palms of your hands, kind of like a massage, while reciting it. The combination of this mantra and connecting to your large muscles will help you calm down.
"I am (inhale, exhale) calm. I can do this."
If you are nervous about speaking in front of a group of people, this mantra is for you. The words “I am” are some of the most powerful words you can use. Think of these words as putting into motion what it is you choose to create. In this case, you are activating calm by embracing nervousness. See yourself as improving and know, with practice, this fear can and will dissipate. Practice this mantra in front of a mirror and see how this strengthens you.
"Be here, right now."
If you are feeling scattered or overwhelmed, this mantra will help center you. True inner peace happens when you connect to the present moment. Before reciting this mantra, firmly plant your two feet on the ground. Picture them as roots of a tree anchoring into the earth. Now exhale into the core of your essence, drawing your navel in, and whisper this mantra to yourself, be here, right now. You can also add, Peace. Peace. Peace.
"I give myself permission to prioritize the things that bring me joy, creativity, and connection."
At times, you might lose your sense of direction or wonder if your life choices are off base. For example, you may crave a different lifestyle or a compatible companion. This mantra reminds you that perhaps these doubts mean that you are being connected to your divine purpose. Your creative energy can stimulate healthy change and lead to happy experiences. So allow yourself to feel these doubts, and ask yourself if they could become motivation for you to reclaim happiness. Rather than focus on what is missing from your life, this mantra encourages you to incorporate things that bring you joy (e.g., animals, nature, art, music, etc.).
"I welcome the gift of this day."
One thing you can count on is that the sun will rise and you will have a chance to begin again. Seeing each day as a gift is one way to begin again. When you attach past events to present situations, life can feel like a struggle. This mindset can foster beliefs such as My life has always been hard, giving you the impression that life is a burden. You get to have another chance given to you for free. Take it and accept this day as a gift.
Excerpted from Mantras Made Easy by Sherianna Boyle. Copyright © 2017 F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
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