According to Wikipedia, “a mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of creating transformation”. A sort of go-to internal phrase that is used to bring you back to center and to draw attention away from troubling thoughts with the intention of turning will into action.
I’ve always wanted a mantra; something I could repeat to motivate myself to push through that last mile; a phrase to focus on during times when I’m feeling anxious or insecure—I’ve just never been able to come up with one that I thought fit. I think the problem is that I don’t need just one; I need a bunch. What I’d say to motivate myself during a run is different than what I’d say to remind myself to relax in a stressful situation.
So, I took a minute last night and listed the various situations in which I’d like to have a mantra for and came up with my own. I’m keeping what I decided on to myself, but I’ll share the categories I chose: motivation, anxiety, insecurity, depression, mindfulness and relaxation.
In addition to helping you through a particular situation, mantras can also encompass a broader life philosophy. I read about a woman in Whole Living who came up with this life mantra: SELF “an acronym for serenity, exercise, love, and food” which she called the “four roots of real happiness”.
A mantra doesn’t always have to be prolific or even make sense though. I’ve read that just focusing on something, even a nonsense word, activates the parts of your brain that are associated with control and attention.
Whatever word or phrase you end up choosing, remember the power of the mind and that thoughts can indeed become things.