Mantra. What’s playing in your head?
Ever had a catchy, repetitive pop song stuck in your head for days? Annoying isn’t it. But the fact that our Minds have the ability to do this, means we can create and have playing in our minds much more useful things. “I can handle it”…”I can handle it”…”I can handle it”… for instance. Now wouldn’t that be a much more useful thing for your Mind to be automatically saying to you? A phrase like that. Something you purposefully put in your Mind and repeat over and over until it “sticks” is a Mantra.
The truth is that I can have my Mind saying all the negative automatic junk it usually says or I can literally tune in and listen to my Mantra. Now I’m sure you’ll agree that having “I can handle it” or ” I can learn to like it” are much more useful and hugely less problematic for me as opposed to my Mind saying “I’m a terrible writer”, “no one will read this article” “why am I bothering” etc etc . The Mind , if we let it, will literally bombard us with this negative crap all day long won’t it?
A Mantra is literally any word or phrase that you purposefully repeat in your Mind over and over again until it eventually “sticks” in your Minds. At this point it just starts playing all by itself in the back of our Mind, all day long. Check it out for yourself and you will see this is much nicer to have going on in there than the alternative. The predominantly negative stuff.
A Mantra can be one “meaningless” word or a “phrase” that you believe and can get behind. The only thing to be mindful of though is that the “word” or particularly the phrase you pick needs to be quite neutral so that the automatic Mind doesn’t get hooked into it and start thinking about too much. If possible try to pick a word or phrase that your Mind is less interested in.
Now it takes a while to have a Mantra “stick”. First when we start the Mantra is weak. But through repetition of saying it over and over again, which will be a nicer thing to have going on in your head, rather than the usual negative automatic stuff, it will get stronger. Eventually it will create a layer in your mind and then just be there going on in the background whenever you need it. A strong Mantra becomes like a haven to go to when the other part of your Mind is driving you crazy, making you react to things or just creating a negative experience inside of you.
You may have first heard of Mantra in connection to spiritual and religious practices but the use of mantra in that way is NOT what I am talking about here. Here I am talking about how Mantras can help us with our mental health.
Having a Mantra that works for you, embedded in your head, rather than listening to the usual junk your Mind spews out is just sensible isn’t it? And with a little bit of hard work, effort and persistence creating a Mantra can be a complete game changer and is another way to “Get to Grips with the Mind”.
It’s a good idea to work on your Mantra and keep strengthening it whenever you remember to do so or when you know you are going to have extended periods of “free time”. I often work on my Mantra when I take the dog out for a walk. Instead of listing to stuff on I Tunes (which I used to do) I now choose to work on repeating and strengthening my mantra. So while I am walking around or picking up Dog Pooh – I am actively repeating “I can handle it…I can handle it…I can handle it”.
Please let me know if you found this little article on Mantra’s useful. Your feedback is really useful.
I wish you and your Mantra well.