Renew, Restore, Relax: Mindful Matras to Soothe Your Soul
Mantras for January Motivation
After the socialising and excitement many of us experience at Christmas and the new year, January can be something of a “downtime” period - made for cosy nights in, quiet reflection and, for some, of commitments to new routines and resolutions.
It’s also the perfect month for a little self-restoration, calm and tranquillity - and what better way to welcome in a peaceful new dawn than with a life-affirming mantra to lift your spirits and warm your heart on those chilly winter days?
Here, we’ve got a few ideas to get you started (if you fancy it) on a daily mantra routine. We’ll give you tips on soul-affirming phrases you can try and give suggestions on the best way to practise them. Ready? Take a look…
What is a mantra?
A mantra is a short sound, word or phrase repeated for the purpose of meditation. The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic Sanskrit and were believed by those who spoke them to have religious / magical powers. The word “Aum” (“Om”) serves as a simple mantra and is thought to be the first word ever spoken on earth.
How can a mantra assist me in everyday life?
Today, people use mantras as a way of helping them to relax, focus and release the mind. Repeating a phrase or word over and over again can help to boost concentration and keep the speaker in the present moment.
Studies have shown that uttering mantras can help to reduce stress and instil a positive attitude in the practitioner.
What are some good mantras for me to use?
Simple, upbeat and easily repeatable mantras work best. Here are a few to try - or create your own by adapting those in our list to suit your personal situation / personality / need:
“I’m not afraid to be wrong.”
“I walk every day in peace.”
“I choose to have a good day.”
“I let joy be my guide.”
“I’m growing stronger each day.”
Setting the scene for your mantra practice
As well as choosing a mantra that works for you, it’s important to find a space and time which you can devote to it, as well.
If you can, find a little corner that’s solely your mantra space. Set a focal point there, such as a plant or favourite image, and use that spot regularly as your meditation area.
The most important thing when you’re repeating your mantra is to make sure you’re comfortable. You can sit cross-legged on the floor (try and keep your back as straight as possible) or sit in an upright chair with your feet flat on the floor.
Use cushions as blankets where necessary to ensure you feel relaxed and at ease.
If you’re hoping to make mantras part of your daily routine, it’s best, if possible, to work out a set time to do it each morning or evening. Either works fine but, if like lots of us, you find the day feels like it’s gone before it’s started, it might be best to try and do it earlier rather than later - and, after all, giving yourself a positive affirmation is such a nice way to start the day.
Ending the mantra
It’s a good idea to set a timer so you know when your mantra session is over. And, if you can, think about spending a moment or two once you've finished "checking in" with yourself to see if it's made you feel calmer and more composed.
Above all, try and set yourself a goal that’s do-able for you each day. With the busy lives we all have, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to manage a 40-minute mantra session every day. But you might just be able to carve a few minutes out in the morning (or whenever works best for you) - and that’s a great start.
"You are a cosmic flower. Om chanting is the process of opening the psychic petals of that flower.” - Amit Ray, Indian author and spiritual teacher