The Power of the Mantra

The origin of mantras

The word mantra comes from the 18th century, meaning literally ‘a thought. A thought behind speech or action’.

Its everyday use comes from the Indian Vedic tradition – a word or sound repeated to aid concentration, meditation or prayer.

Recently, Group Director Nicky Marshall spent 3 weeks touring India. Part of which included;

“Learning more about Hinduism and we were lucky enough to be invited to a Hindu temple ceremony.

Here is Director Nicky in India

We both had tilaka (yellow and red paste) put on our foreheads, but our guide had one on his throat too. When I asked, he said it was so he would always speak kind words.”

 

Read on to find out what mantra would suit you best.

How a mantra can help you outside of meditation

A mantra evokes the creative side of the brain as it involves visualisation and your imagination.

Mantras are part of our stress-busting tips & techniques because you can extend them into a breathing exercise.

Positive affirmation and breathing to calm stress:
  • Slow your breathing by taking a long deep breath in. Try counting to 6 or as far as your in-breath allows you to go, as you’re doing so, slowly breathe out, during which you repeat the mantra in your head (if you’re in the office or say it out loud if you’re in the right space to do so).

You don’t have to repeat your mantra over and over, once will suffice. You can, of course, repeat your mantra as you breathe if that is your preferred method. We just don’t want people running around repeating phrases but not actually calming themselves down. Try repeating your mantra and add in the breathing exercise for a bigger impact.

The aim here is to slow your breathing, as then the brain is calm and ready to receive information, which in this case is the mantra.

 

mantra

 

How to create a mantra

The positive affirmation is the opposite of the negative belief you have.

They change as you change – focus on one thing at a time. Don’t have a million mantras, focus it down to one that can be applied in various situations.

How to narrow down the focus;
  1. Identify the areas in your life that are causing you stress by tracking your mood.

Then

  1. Take your negative thought and flip it.

 

Fake it until you make it

Mantras work on the basis that they are repeated in order to create new neural pathways. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imaginary, it knows what we tell it and what we have experienced.

Lera Boroditsky explains how the way you speak about yourself and the world around you can influence your perception.

Language is such a powerful tool, yet we spend more time berating ourselves rather than celebrating our successes. Psychologist Guy Winch made an interesting point in his Ted Talk about how we would never call our friends fat, stupid and ugly – yet we are all too willing to tell ourselves this.

If the neural pathways in your brain are telling your body this message, are we surprised our bodies feel drained and uncomfortable?

Why is it we tell our friends they are strong, beautiful and healthy – but not ourselves? Here at Discover Your Bounce we embrace every individual for who they are. There is no one definition of health and beauty. If you have your “Bounce”, your vitality for life, then you are the person you are meant to be.

Tips to make your mantra stick

  • Write it down – during our workshops we give out image postcards. On the back, there is space to write a mantra. Have a calming image or picture of something that makes you happy facing you. Then look at it when you need it.

 

  • Hang it up everywhere. Think about how much time a week you spend staring at the back of your door in the loo. Place it opposite instead of playing a game on your phone for five minutes. Do you spend the morning staring at the ceiling? Our minds are drawn to words and we automatically read advertising signs, so why not let that be your mantra? Place it everywhere. Keep it in sight!

mantra

Mantras for many occasions

Here are some examples of mantras for you.

“Keep your head up and your heart open”

This one is great for reminding yourself that time heals all wounds. That just because one lover scorned you, doesn’t mean all the others will.

Keep your head up also reminds us to remain present, to remain in the outside world and look at what is in front of you. When you keep your head up, you’ll see the skies, the birds and the buildings. If you keep your head down, you will only see the pavement.

“Go slowly.”

This one is great for when you’re feeling stressed and want to run around trying to “fix” everything. Take it easy, slow it down and problem-solving becomes much easier.

Go slowly can then be applied to your breathing. When we are stressed we lose 60% of our brain’s capacity to think. Allowing that hit of oxygen to enter the brain will again aid your concentration and take you away from what we refer to as “tunnel vision”.

It can also again remind you to practice mindfulness. The engage with life in a more careful and appreciative way.

This can also help you become a better communicator. If you slow down you will become a better listener. Also, taking a pause and thinking before you speak will ensure you don’t say something you will come to regret.

“Let it go”

No that is not to get frozen stuck in your head.

That is to remind you not to sweat the small stuff. If things are out of your control, let it go.

If it doesn’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it.
“I am the person I am meant to be”

This refers to allowing yourself to be yourself. We recommend you take this one wisely as we don’t condone someone to be rude and obnoxious and use the excuse of “I’m just being myself. I like being loud, so I’ll do it in a library and disturb you all.”

Essentially, always be kind to others and be yourself.

 

Discover Your Bounce are specialists in personal development. We offer a 6 part mentoring program and online course which has been reduced down to £77 pounds for January. More info here.

Our goal is to see people thriving rather than just surviving.

Life is beautiful and so are you!

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About The Author

Alexandra Stumpp

A 2019 graduate of German from the University of Bristol, Alex is the Events and Marketing Assistant for Discover Your Bounce. She joined the team in March 2019 as an Intern and is now a full-time employee. Her expertise is in the study of cultures and languages. Being half Swiss and through her studies she speaks fluent German.