Ever have trouble falling asleep because your mind just won’t leave you alone? So many of us are tortured at night by thoughts of what we have to do tomorrow or what we didn’t get done today, or both! Maybe this results in insomnia or hits you at different points during the day — unwelcome intrusions that steal our peace!
One thing that has been helpful to me that is part of meditation/mindfulness is the idea of a mantra. I know, I know, you might be thinking that this “hippie” stuff isn’t for you — but hear me out. You probably already have mantras that you tell yourself without realizing it — and oftentimes they are negative. Think of the things your brain tells you when you are down on yourself or when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, for example.
A mantra is a short phrase or word that you repeat in your mind or out loud that allows your brain to focus on just one simple thing. Probably the most well known intentional one is “Om” — which you’ve likely seen on TV when people are meditating or doing yoga.
However, there are infinite opportunities that you can choose from that seem more like your style. Here are some I like:
- I am worthy, I am enough, I am loved (Hence the “WEL” title of this post – it’s a mnemonic!)
- Peaceful, safe, calm
- I have enough, I am enough, I do enough
- Thank you for your input
Ideas on when/how to use a mantra:
- Try to say one word or section of the phrase (i.e. I am worthy) per slow inhale breath, then the second word/section on the exhale, etc. Take a break on the second exhale if an odd number of sections/words or visualize breathing out negativity in the form of black smoke
- Try when your brain won’t stop obsessing about one thing, especially when you’re trying to sleep
- Try when you catch yourself saying a negative thing about yourself
- Try when meditating or doing yoga — especially when you are having trouble focusing or in a particularly challenging pose
Here are some other sites with information and ideas on mantras:
- Tiny Buddha
- Mind Body Green and The Chopra Center (if you like Om and are open to Sanskrit mantras)
- Boho Berry
What mantras do you have in your life (positive, neutral or negative)?