MANTRAS FOR THE MODERN GIRL
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about mantras. Mantras and mindfulness go hand in hand in my opinion, and both have become crazy trendy lately. But did you know people have been using mantras to achieve mindfulness for over 3,000 years? Don’t feel bad if you’re just catching on now. Chances are, you’ve actually used a mantra before without even knowing it. It’s when you’re intentional with it and use it regularly that the magic really happens.
So let’s cover the basics.
What is a mantra?
When I was in 8th grade, I didn’t know what a mantra was, but I was obsessed with certain song lyrics that I’d listen to over and over when I wanted to get out of my own head. In high school, when I was getting ready in the morning, I’d always listen to the same song, which made me feel ready to face that day. Then in college, when I’d walk to and from acting studio, I’d listen to a certain song that allowed me to let everything else fade away.
I didn’t know it then, but those songs, which happened to have lyrics that spoke to me, were MY mantras. They were lyrics I repeated to myself over and over to ground me and calm me when I needed an extra boost.
It was so simple—but that’s what a mantra is. A mantra is different for everyone and can be anything. It can be a sound or a word—it’s what you repeat in a meditation or in your daily life, or at work, or ANYWHERE. A mantra is simple, but powerful because it’s unique to you.
Trust me, it’s not just for yogis or Buddhist monks. You don’t have to chant them or sit still to use them. These days, a mantra is more of an inspirational tool that anyone can use. It doesn’t have to be someone in the wellness field, either. CEOs, students, baristas can all benefit from using a mantra. And so can you, BABE.
How do I use one?
Remember a couple weeks ago when I talked about your own personal blue sky? And how sometimes there are thunderstorms, but it’s YOUR choice whether or not you let them flood your entire life? A lot of my clients deal with being flooded by obsessive thoughts. Those of us who have dealt with eating disorders and anxiety often get stuck in our own self-judgment.
This is where a mantra can save your ass. I have my clients choose a mantra to interrupt those thoughts. It gives them something to hang on to so they don’t get swept away by the flood. One of my clients’ mantras is a personal favorite. She tells herself, “Today, I am perfectly imperfect.” By repeating this to herself every day, she’s giving herself permission to be vulnerable, which inevitably gives her strength.
Personally, I deal with imposter syndrome all the time. Sometimes I’ll literally tell myself, “you don’t know what you’re doing. Fuck you.” But, remember, you’re in control of how you feel and you can CHOOSE to feel powerful.
It’s in these dark, weaker moments—which we ALL have—that you should rely on your mantra to bring you back. Over time, my mantras have shifted, but since the days I was in treatment, I’ve always gone back to one:
I’m going to love myself no matter what.
If I’m alone and feeling stuck in my head, I’ll look in the mirror and repeat it aloud to myself.
I actually love having conversations with myself, I’m kind of weird like that. If I’m at work and don’t have time to meditate, I still have time to ground myself in my breath and my mantra. I gotta say, it works like a fucking charm.
When you use a mantra, you’re doing a mini meditation anytime, anywhere—how sick is that?
Why do I need one?
So why use a mantra in the first place?
Well, if I haven’t hammered it into your head yet, your thoughts create your reality. Regular, positive affirmations manifest into positive experiences in your life. A mantra can be the key to shifting your mindset, and therefore your life.
Don’t take my word for it. There’s tons of research out there to backup the claims that mantras can create change in your life, from reducing stress, to physically lowering your blood pressure, and even altering your brain chemistry.
But to me, what’s most exciting about a mantra is, at the most basic level, it’s honestly just something there to encourage you to feel good. I have clients who tape their mantra to their mirror, or set it as the background of their phone to center themselves during the chaos of the daily grind. The second you sit with your breath, it brings you back to the present. It helps you focus on ONE thing, it makes the craziness become irrelevant.
Mantras can also help you make room. They literally create space for you to open your mind and heart to new possibilities, new friendships, new opportunities. They help you get to know yourself on a deeper level. And ultimately, they help you develop a greater love for yourself. I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take you, but I can tell you the more you do it and the longer you do it, the more you’ll believe it.
It WILL happen eventually.
Earlier this week, I left my own therapy session and kept thinking about how I’m attracting all of the love I dreamed about and deserve. Nothing has made me feel more successful in my life than that, and I truly believe having a mantra helped me manifest true success.
So here’s the assignment I’m giving you: