What's Your Mantra?
April 30, 2007
What's your mantra? If you don't have one, maybe you'd like to consider making up one of your own. A mantra is just a word or a phrase that you repeat several times aloud or in your mind that helps bring a sense of calm and peace to you. "Mantra" literally means "to free from the mind," and that's what it does – repeating a mantra helps banish all those many anxious thoughts or stressful feelings we seem to acquire throughout the day and clears the mind.
When you repeat a mantra, it has been shown to have a direct impact on the body and emotions. In studies done of people who repeated their mantras daily, it was found that they had reduced their stress levels and anxiety and increased their sense of well-being. So you could think of a mantra as your "comfort" words.
While a mantra can be a prayer, like saying the "Hail Mary" used on a rosary or the "om-mani-padme-om" in Buddhism, a mantra can also be a personal motto, or a phrase that inspires you or that expresses something you believe in. It could be something like "go with the flow," "all is well," "take it easy," or "love surrounds me." It's important that whatever you choose is something personal that has meaning for you.
Saying your mantra daily could even help your heart. According to a study in a British medical journal, when people recited their mantras, their breathing became more regular and synchronized with their heart rhythms. This stable respiratory rate is beneficial for long-term heart health.
You can say your mantra at any time throughout the day, for as long or short a time as you wish. You can "think" your mantra while waiting somewhere or riding public transportation, or devote some time at home to say it aloud as a form of meditation when you can sit comfortably.
So, why not give it a try? Create your own little oasis of peace throughout the day, and you'll be the better for it.