It is possible that you’ve heard of the word “mantra” but aren’t familiar with its exact meaning or how to use one. As we work to create one together, we will explore the history of the word and how it came to be a more mainstream concept. The word “mantra” is made up from two Sanskirt words-manas (or mind) and tra (or tool), in other words, a tool for the mind! In a health and wellness journey, you can use a mantra as another tool in your ever-growing toolbox of techniques to lead a more healthful and meaningful life.
A mantra can be whatever you would like it to be, whether that be a word, sound, or short phrase that has meaning to your life and what you want to accomplish. Typically, mantras are repeated during meditation; however, it is totally up to you how to use it! You can use it any time of day when you want to recenter and refocus your brain. Depending on what fits you, a mantra can be something you use constantly, only during certain challenging times, during meditation or yoga, or used any time that feels useful for you.
Noom is big on creating mantras that you can hang on to throughout your journey to keep you motivated and empowered. We will work to create a mantra that feels applicable to your life and truly inspires you. As we begin this mantra exploration, it can be helpful to reflect on what is most important to you in life. Consider the following questions:
- What inspires you to get up each morning?
- What excites you?
- What are your top 3 values in life and why?
- How do you reflect these values in your daily life?
- When do you feel most happy?
- When things get tough in life, what keeps you going?
- What motivates you?
These questions are meant to help start the wheels churning on what intrinsically motivates you, rather than extrinsic motivation. An extrinsic motivator is an outside force such as worrying about what others think about how you look rather than finding that peace and satisfaction in yourself. Thinking about what you care about most in life is a great place to start to create a mantra. As you reflect on these questions, try noting words that you come up with or resonate with you such as: motivation, perseverance, commitment, gratitude, pleasure, dedication, resilience, empowerment, courage, fulfillment, faith, inspiration, persistence. These can help form a strong base for your mantra. A mantra can take many different forms depending on what you are looking for. They can take a more affirmation-like form such as stating “I am” and inserting an inspiring message after such as powerful, strong, focused, in control, who I am.
Another option is to create a mantra with simply a phrase, word, or statement that inspires you and keeps you on track toward your goals. These can be varied as motivation is different for everyone and the key is to keep it simple so it can be easily remembered and drawn upon when needed. Some people have found it particularly beneficial to have their mantra visually somewhere whether that be a vision board, written down on a post-it note, on a piece of jewelry, in a notebook or journal. When needed, it can then be referenced and used as a positive visual reminder.
It is up to you to discover your personal mantra and how it can positively benefit your health and wellness journey. No matter what type of mantra you create, research has found that any type of silent mantra motivation activates certain parts of the brain that are also activated during a meditation practice. Whether you choose a simple word, affirmation statement, or a favorite quote-it is all about simplicity and choosing a mantra that feels inspirational to your life and situation. Mantras help with focusing on what is important and keeping your eyes on the big picture or on what truly matters to you in any given situation. As you try this task out, consider one of my favorite and simplest mantras for myself: “Turn your thoughts into action.” Take one tiny action step today as you reflect on a mantra for yourself!
If you’re looking for more inspiration on your journey to better health, start your 14-day Noom trial today!