Magical Mantras: Friendly Reminders To Sit Up Straight, Think Good Thoughts, and Smile

A mantra, by definition, is “a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating” or “a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs” (Source: Merriam-Webster). In traditional Hinduism and Buddhism, mantras are spoken in Sanskrit and are considered very sacred. In the US, we typically use the term “mantra” to describe a word or phrase that we repeat aloud or in our heads to create a more positive mindset and attitude.

Mantras are not just for the spiritual or religious. Though they are historically used as mechanisms for meditation and spiritual enlightenment, mantras are also practical tools that help us manage our thoughts and emotions throughout our daily lives. Specifically, they can be used to:

  • Control our anger
  • Relax before bedtime
  • Build confidence at work and home
  • Release our fears
  • Let go of guilt and resentment
  • Establish a more peaceful mindset
  • Be more compassionate

The list is endless, but these are some of the ways I use mantras to help frame my thoughts and manage my emotions.

So, how do you use mantras? Well, first pick a few as your go-to mantras. Pick one that helps you relax, one that builds confidence, and definitely one that helps you control your anger. Repeat these mantras in your head, aloud during your commute, or in a mirror as you get ready for work. Repeat them enough throughout the day that they become ingrained in your brain. Then, whenever you experience tension, whip out your mantra that helps you relax. When you find yourself in a situation where you feel timid and insecure, give your confidence matra a few passes, then dive into situation. And when you notice that your blood is starting to boil, before you speak or act in rage, use your anger mantra to calm your thoughts and reorient yourself.

If it sounds easy, that’s because it is. Mantras are very simple tools to use in any situation throughout our daily lives. They really help reorient our minds so that we can think more clearly, more logically, and more compassionately. Clear, logical, and compassionate thinking helps us make better decisions, feel happier and more peaceful, and enjoy our relationships.

Now, using mantras does not automatically guarantee that you are going to feel better or miraculously pull a one-eighty. Though the title of this article is “Magical Mantras,” there’s really no magic about it. You have to put in a little bit of work in order for the mantra to catch. You must focus on your mantra and nothing else. You must let it fully absorb into your brain. Taking deep breaths usually helps calm your mind before reciting your mantra. Keeping your eyes closed may also help avoid distractions.

Here’s a basic method for using a mantra:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply.
  3. Exhale slowly and completely.
  4. Say your mantra slowly aloud or in your head three times.
  5. Inhale deeply.
  6. Exhale completely.
  7. Repeat your mantra slowly aloud or in your head three more times.
  8. Open your eyes.
  9. Repeat your mantra slowly three more times.
  10. Inhale deeply.
  11. Exhale completely.
  12. Repeat your mantra at a normal speaking pace three final times.
  13. Continue to breathe deeply while returning to the situation.
  14. Whenever you feel that your negative thoughts are returning, just gently inhale and recite your mantra.

Sometimes it is helpful to recite your mantra as you inhale, and then recite a word or phrase for whatever thought or emotion you are trying to release as you exhale. For example, if you are using the mantra, “My thoughts are light and free,” to control your anger, you might do the following:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply.
  3. Exhale slowly and completely.
  4. Inhale deeply, and as you inhale recite, “My thoughts are light and free,” in your head.
  5. Exhale completely, and as your exhale recite, “I release my anger,” in your head.
  6. Repeat at least five times.
  7. Open your eyes.
  8. Repeat at least five times.
  9. Continue to breathe deeply while returning to the situation.

Find whatever method works best for you. The goal is to take a minute or two away from the situation that is bothering you and perform a mini-meditation. This mini-meditation will help restructure your thoughts so that you can perceive the situation more clearly, make better decisions, and feel better during the process.

Below is a list of mantras that you can use to get started. These are just some that I use in various situations. Sometimes my mantra at any given moment is just the first positive word I think of. There are no rules, so just pick a few words or phrases that really speak to you and effectively perk you up.

When you’re down in the dumps

Life is beautiful.

I have all I need.

I am loved.

I control my thoughts.

When you’re stressed

This too shall pass.

My mind is calm.

All will be well.

I accept what life gives me.

When you’re feeling insecure

I am beautiful.

I am valuable.

I accept myself.

I can improve.

When you’re happy

I am grateful.

Thank you.

I share my love.

I am love.

When you’re angry

I choose my reactions.

Smile.

My thoughts are light and free.

I detach myself from my emotions.

When you’re unmotivated

My body is strong.

I have nothing to fear.

Posture.

Change takes patience and persistence.

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What mantras do you use? What calms you down or picks you up? We’d love to hear them and give them a try. So, please feel free to share your mantras or any other technique you use to manage your thoughts and emotions.

2 comments

    • Rachael says:

      I love that – “Inhale Love, Exhale Fear.” That is a perfect mantra for all stresses in life, both big and small. Thank you so much for sharing and contributing!

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