In Sanskrit, a mantra is a sound or vibration repeated to promote deep meditation, positive intentions and action. (The most common one heard in yoga classes all over the planet: Om). Not only can mantras be calming and inspiring, but also totally transformative. The repetition lets the meaning of the words become embedded into the conscious and subconscious mind, and that translates into greater inner motivation and power to manifest your dreams and intentions.
Keeping mantras in your pocket—or everywhere—can help you get through the all the highs and lows that come on any given day. And when you recite them consistently, you can start to shift any negative habits or patterns into positive ones.
As powerful as ancient Sanskrit mantras can be in vibration, pronunciation is not at all easy to master for most. (Just try saying Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu three times fast.) No need to memorize long, tongue-twisting phrases. You can actually create your own affirmations that resonate personally.
How to Create or Choose a Mantra
Invent short phrases that inspire you to think positively and act on good intentions. Use affirmative wording, action verbs and strong adjectives to give the mantra energy.
If you're at a loss for your own words, adopt someone else's. For example, if you need motivation to get through a hard workout, you might summon the wisdom of Daft Punk: "Harder, better, faster, stronger." For me, I've always loved the Costa Rican phrase pura vida—which means pure life—to keep me connected to nature and my authentic self.
Modern Mantras and How to Use Them
Here are some affirmations to call on in certain scenarios throughout the day. Write them down and place them where you can access them when they're needed most. According to yogic tradition, mantras are most effective when repeated 108 times in a row. (The number represents many things, including 108 energy lines that connect to the heart chakra.)
I am love and light. Write this on your mirror with a permanent or magic marker to always be aware of this constant truth. It's meant to help boost confidence and give you the capacity to radiate love onto other people or situations.
Smooth and graceful. When you need to navigate through tough times or deal with difficult people with grace, this is your jam. Keep the mantra in your pocket on extremely stressful days or high-pressure moments. Also may be useful during yoga class (or your secret life as a wannabe ballerina).
Truth is my name. From the Sanskrit mantra sat nam, which is believed to help call on your intuition. Write it down on stationery on your desk, and use it when you need to make important decisions.
Abundance is available to me. When you want to attract more wealth or opportunities, repeat this mantra to manifest those blessings. Write it down and keep it in your wallet.
I am grateful. Whenever good fortune shines down on you, like finding romance or achieving a goal at work, never forget to speak this mantra to stay grounded in gratitude. It even works wonders when things aren't going so hot and you need a reminder that misfortune is an opportunity to grow and learn. A good one to keep in your pocket, wallet or purse at all times.
What are some of your favorite mantras? Share in the comment below!