How a daily mantra practise can give you back a sense of well-being
It’s like we are born perfect with regards to how we think about ourselves and the world around us. Then over time and through experiences – hard knocks, harsh words, perceived failures – little by little we subtract from ourselves.
Doubt and comparisons, wishing we looked better, were smarter, made better choices, had better health…. they eat away at our self-esteem and eventually the way we think about ourselves is altered.
Then the way we internally speak to ourselves reflects how we are feeling, and in the way of all vicious circles, it subsequently dictates how we continue to feel.
This might be for a short time while faced with a specific challenge, suffering the winter blues, or losing our way with regards to career and purpose. Or it might be for a much longer time, it might have become routine. It might even feel like there’s no way out of the black hole of despair and self-loathing.
Sometimes the journey through menopause can be a catalyst for such thoughts and feelings, for beginning to doubt everything and wondering what’s next. It may also be a time when the on-set of health issues – our own or our loved ones – is challenging our lives.
When faced with these circumstances, we need to reset ourselves; reset how we talk to ourselves, get back control of our minds, work consciously and consistently on feel-good vibes and positive affirmations. A daily mantra can go a long way to changing our mind-set and reminding us how precious life is.
Start by replacing guilt with gratitude and self-love
There’s no shame in losing our way. Most people do at some point in their lives. It’s hard to go through the ups and downs over the years without questioning or feeling overwhelmed at times.
There’s so much pressure from every angle. It’s like being squeezed to fit a certain shaped box, until our essence has been diluted and drained, and we no longer know who we are.
Why is it then, that on the other hand, we have a very clear picture of who we are not?
Who we may never be, why we are not good enough, what we might never have…. this is what needs to be reset in our minds to allow us to live life to our fullest potential, and in genuine happiness.
One of the things to remember is that we can let the pressures pass us by. We can choose to. We can decide what is important to us, what we consider are the makings of a good person, a good life, a time well spent. We can fence off a little corner of the big wide universe to be ‘our world’ and in it we can address what matters to us, ignoring anything that throws us off balance.
We don’t have to take on everything and spread ourselves too thin. Scaling down and simplifying are wonderful ways to clear the clutter and drive out the unnecessary from our lives – physically and mentally.
Doing something as simple as being thankful for every day, and showing gratitude for what we have, can bring contentment back into our lives. This change of focus, basically basking in the ‘here and now’, can chase out the feelings of being overwhelmed or underwhelmed.
If we let go of what we perceive as our shortcomings, we will make room for positive, life affirming self talk.
It may just be that we find real self-esteem and true self-love come from being successful in totally different ways than we had imagined.
Find a daily mantra that talks to you!
Who couldn’t use an inspiring mantra to set the scene for the day upon waking, and another one full of gratitude to send us off to slumber at the end of the day!
There are no rules to finding the perfect mantra for you. Obviously, they should be sentiments that invoke uplifting thoughts and a powerful sense of being capable of anything.
Chose the phrases that deal to your habitual misguided thinking and critical self talk, or that encourage you along the path you wish to take next in life.
Mantras don’t have to be long winded; these small phrases can cover a lot of ground and invoke a substantial bodily response or charge. If it works for you, it’s just right!
Here’s an example of a daily mantra from Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life:
In the infinity of life where I am,
all is perfect, whole, and complete.
I accept health as the natural state
of my being. I now consciously release
any mental patterns within me
that could express as dis-ease in any way.
I love and approve of myself.
I love and approve of my body.
I feed it nourishing foods and beverages.
I exercise it in ways that are fun.
I recognise my body as a wondrous
and magnificent machine, and I feel
privileged to live in it. I love lots of energy.
All is well in my world.
It seems to me that these little mantras go straight to the place that we buried, or that just got buried under all the ‘rubbish’ of life that piles up and means we cannot easily access that original ‘perfect’ place of knowing, trusting, loving, believing and simply being.
It’s like a direct pipeline back into the well of certainty, contentment and safety – and the well is overflowing. The mind immediately recognises it as the true self and dives right in!
Louise say’s “I expect my life to be good and joyous, and it is.”
Here are some other books to guide and inspire, and help determine the mantras for your practise:
Find Your Happy Daily Mantras (by Shannon Kaiser)
The Little Book of Mindfulness (by Dr Patrizia Collard)
Flip the Script (by Bill Wackermann)
Modern Magic (by Kirsten Riddle)
Change Your Thinking (by Sarah Edleman)
You Can Heal Your Life (by Louise Hay)
Self-healing (by Louise Hay) – an audio program of positive affirmations narrated by Louise
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing (by Susan Anderson)
Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting (by Lynn Grabhorn)
Life Loves You (by Louise Hay and Robert Holden)
Use mantras to heal
When I was recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and found the usual ‘tricks’ I employed to spark myself up weren’t working, I began by reading some of the inspirational books listed above. It was slow going as I couldn’t focus, or stay awake, for long periods.
I found the short, sharp quotes and mantras were easy to read and remember, so I started using them daily. I created my own too, and saying them began to take me to my happy place…. and more importantly to a place where I believed I got better in some small way every day.
A sense of knowing you are on the right path back to health is essential to getting there.
What the mind believes, the body achieves!
These are some of the mantras I was using at that time:
“I love taking care of my body, treating it with love and respect. In return it gives me perfect health.”
“I have abundant energy to live a life full of passion and purpose.”
“I am healthy, happy and whole.”
For me, I didn’t want to leave my recovery to chance. There were enough physical issues that I could only do so much to improve…. time would do the rest. I knew that I had to tap into my thought processes and guide them where I wanted to go, to encourage my return to wellness.
If you are suffering from adversity, try talking your way back to a loving and peaceful place. This is where you will need to be to begin the journey back to health. As with anything, it’s about consistency and belief. Determine the mantras that resonate with you, then use them every day… it only takes a minute or two to reset, then before you know it you are thinking and feeling differently about your circumstances and outlook.
Replacing any thoughts of hopelessness with these delightful verses of hopefulness will begin to manifest in your world, and you will surely notice a change in fortune!
Negative thought patterns can take hold when we are up against it. Use your mantra to interrupt these sub-conscious cycles, creating instead a sense of healing yourself with kindness and patience.
The moment we acknowledge our own love for ourselves, we will naturally begin to start taking better care of ourselves.
Other ways to well-being
It’s essential not to take wellness for granted. Ongoing maintenance is key to avoiding an off-road experience down the black hole of despair and self-loathing.
The following pursuits, in combination with a daily mantra practise, will go a long way to keeping body and mind healthy. I’ve found all are extremely important to me in my early fifties, and having gone through early on-set menopause because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I would say that the power they can exert over your ability to heal and prosper is quite remarkable.
- Exercise – It shuts down the mind while the body goes through its paces. Nourishing your insides with deep breathing, boosting metabolism, and bringing a sense of achievement (and of having taken control) when you are done. Wonderful for self-esteem and glow!
- Nature – The beauty of nature and the miracle of life all around us takes us outside of our own internal conversations and worries. It brings a sense of calm, of being a small piece in a much larger whole. There’s a sense of survival through the seasons and of how life really does go on….. magnificently so!
- Healthy eating – Making a conscious effort to nourish and heal with food is a giant step to self-love and being in control of your own choices. Looking after yourself, rather than unconsciously sabotaging your health because you don’t feel good about who you are or the circumstances you find yourself in, is a core decision on the path to wellness.
Caring enough about yourself to say, “I deserve to live well”, and following through on it every day with mindful eating, can stop the ‘negative chat’ in its tracks.
- Visualisation – Just as the power of a mantra reprograms the brain, the power of visualising our dreams already complete leaves the mind (and the universe) in no doubt as to our desired outcome. It’s a mental rehearsal for what is to come – and having decided, imagined and believed enough to visualise it, there is only one step remaining!Use visualisation techniques to accomplish a specific goal, or to set the scene for a life change. Affirmations (your daily mantras) can be used alongside the imagery to invoke a feeling of already having what you desire.
Harness the formidable power of pictures and words to activate your creativity and motivation, and to incite the law of attraction to go to work in your favour.
Remember, not everything that was true yesterday is true today, and not everything that is happening now will be happening tomorrow. Be conscious of what you tell yourself. Don’t let your critical self-talk take off with your sense of well-being during challenging times.
Shut it down with positive affirmations…. words that take you to a higher place, fill you with possibility, heal you with their grounding simplicity, and make you believe that tomorrow is already bringing your deepest desires.