The Science Behind Finding Your Daily Mantra
The new year is always a great time for self-care, intense reflection, and new wellness goals. But no matter how sincere your intentions are, sticking to your new goals can be a challenge. We’ve discovered a surprising tool that may help you is a mantra. Mantras have been around for millenniums and have been scientifically proven to help people stay on track all year long.
What Exactly is a Daily Mantra?
Even if you currently have a mantra, you may have difficulty defining it. So, let’s start by answering “what exactly is a mantra?”
The word mantra comes from ancient Sanskrit and means “sacred charm or spell.” Today mantras can mean any type of word, phrase, or sound that when repeated, shifts your mindfulness. Think of it as your mission statement for life. While originally used in meditation, mantras today can be used anytime, anywhere.
The Science of Mantras
Neuroscientists using brain imaging tools are starting to reveal how mantras can calm the nervous system. In 2015 scientists studying the effects of mantras applied modern brain-imaging and found that people who silently repeated the word echad (pronounced ekh-awd’ and means “one” in Hebrew) experienced a quieting of the mind.
Subjects reported that it was relaxing and that they had fewer thoughts.”
– Dr. Aviva Berkovich-Ohana
Another study saw people who participated in six 90-minute Yoga sessions. Each session finished with 11 minutes of mantra-based meditation where the subjects recited the “sat nam” mantra (roughly translated as “true identity”) while placing their hands over their hearts. As their mantra training increased, the quieter their minds became.
Popular Daily Mantras
So, the studies mentioned above all involved ancient mantras. If you have ever taken a yoga class, you have probably encountered one of the first mantras in history “Om.” It is said to be “the sound of the universe.”
Today though it is more common for mantras to be created with empowering words that act as reminder of your goals as well as, a mind calming exercise. Some examples of popular mantras for 2023:
Let go of what doesn’t serve my growth
I am worthy of a new beginning
I manifest joy in my life
I am beautiful and healthy
If not now, when?
I am love
Success is mine
I’ve got my own back
Creating your own Daily Mantra
Of course, a mantra is very personal because its purpose is to center your thoughts on one phrase to help you push forward through distraction or adversity. So, it makes sense to create a mantra specific to you.
The first step is deciding what do you want to manifest? Do you want more love in your life? Do you want to overcome fear? Do you want to spread joy? Only you can answer this.
Once you decide, trust yourself and go for it. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think of positive words or phrases that make you feel empowered. Ideas like “be bold” “be truth” or “let love in.”
Now that you have a mantra, it’s time to try it out. Shout it. Whisper it. Then just say it to yourself in your own head. How does it make you feel? Hopefully your mind will be calmer, you will be more present in the moment, and focused on the task at hand.
But if you don’t like your mantra, it’s okay to change it. You must believe in your mantra for it to work.
Stick to It
Whatever you ultimately choose as your mantra, stick to it. It should typically take around a month for your mantra to turn into a healthy habit. So, use it all day long – in the shower, while running errands, or cooking dinner. The more you use it, the better it works and the closer you get to accomplishing your wellness goals.
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