When I am working with clients who are struggling with anxiety, stress or are trying to reframe perfectionism, I often recommend several strategies, one of which is creating a personal mantra.
This is a technique that can be used by anyone in all sorts of different situations. It’s also relatively easy to do and easy to insert into your daily routine when you have a few moments.
What is a mantra?
A mantra is a set of short repeated words or sayings that can be used as a form of relaxation. In Sanskrit, mantra roughly translates to “tool or instrument of the mind.” A mantra can be as simple as a sound, such as “Ohm” or a series of words.
One of my favorites is:
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May all things go well for me.
You then repeat it for others or the entire world:
May you be well.
May you be safe.
May all things go well for you.
How does a mantra work?
The beauty of mantras is that they give our anxious or overwhelmed minds something to focus on. Pairing the repetition of a mantra with our breathing can be an additional way to calm the mind.
How can I create a personal mantra?
Set aside some time and get in the right frame of mind — take some deep breaths, do a few yoga poses, have a cup of tea – whatever you think will help you get into a place where you feel centered and focused on creating your mantra.
Create a statement of what you want in your life. It might help to start with your worries and work from there.
Be sure to keep it positive. Our subconscious mind doesn’t hear the word “no” so avoid statements that include no. For example, a mantra such as “I am not anxious” is heard as “I am anxious.” Think instead of reframing that thought to “I am calm” or “I am at peace.”
Your mantra should also be in the present, for example “I am” instead of “I want,” as It makes your mantra more real and focused.
Your mantra needs commitment and practice to really work. It may not work overnight, but if you work on practicing it and allow your mantra to get into your bones, over time you will find that it helps you become calmer and more centered.