Affirmations & Mantras: What are they, how are they used and how to create them
By Catherine Roig
The kind of life that we create for ourselves is largely determined by the words that we speak and what we think. We all know people who live their life seeing the “bright” side of everything. As well, we know those who lean toward the negative way of thinking. The subconscious mind will accept the critical statements that we tell ourselves, however, it is also equipped to accept our positive affirmations as truth.
Affirmations are statements that are chosen and spoken consciously. They are one of the greatest ways to take control of our mind and the outcome of our reality. Often interchangeable with Mantras, Positive affirmations are reminders that can be used to encourage and motivate ourselves and others. Developed in the 1970’s by neuroscientists to consciously rewire thought patterns toward more desired outcomes. They are simple sentences or sounds, created in specific form, worded in a positive way and spoken in the present tense. They can be stated or repeated to ourselves addressing something that we wish to have or be as if we ALREADY have it in the present moment. Example: Instead of saying “I want to be loved”, say, “I am loved”. As your subconscious mind picks up on these positive statements, soon, your reality will reflect your affirmations.
The word Mantra is derived from 2 Sanskrit words-Mana meaning mind and Tra meaning too. Similar to Affirmations, Mantras can be thought of as seeds planted with the intention of blossoming into a beautiful plant, flower or tree. Mantra are words, a powerful sound or invocation (in Sanskrit or any other language) that can aid an
in focusing concentration and deepening meditation while also uniting him or her to a higher power. Practitioners believe that Mantra will change your state of mind and elevate awareness.
While we often think the key to health and happiness is wholesome eating and exercise, there are other forms of nourishing self-care that cultivate a positive state of being.
Mantras and positive affirmations are two unique ways to cultivate self-care and nourish our mind.
In the Eastern world, it is believed that words-whether thought or stated out loud can affect our physical vibration and over time impact our perception or circumstances in a positive way. This approach has been used in Buddhism for thousands of years and it is believed that repeating mantras and positive affirmations will enhance our meditation practice.
When they are affective, both Positive Affirmations and Mantras can:
Help with problem solving
Reduce stress and anxiety
Increase personal success
Increase positive emotions
Create inner clarity
EXAMPLE OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
I know, accept and am true to myself
I believe in myself
I eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest for my good health
I learn from my mistakes
I can accomplish anything
EXAMPLE OF MANTRAS
Chanting OM is thought to match the natural highest frequency and means “it is, will be or to become”
Om Namah Shivaya
Is one of the most powerful Hindu Mantras and means “I bow to the highest self”
I am that I am
Reaffirms the conscious presence of God that is everything
Om Mani Padme Hum
Is a mantra used by Tibetan Buddhists to achieve the ultimate state of compassion and means “Hail the Jewel in the Lotus”
OM-is the primal sound of the Universe
MA-strips us down from our needs
NI-releases passion and desire
Pad-frees you from ignorance and prejudice
Me-releases us from possessiveness
Hum-liberates your from hatred
YOU ARE NOW READY TO ACCEPT THE WORLD AS IT IS
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN PERSONAL AFFIRMATION OR MANTRA
on a piece of paper, write down the words or ideas that you want to immerse yourself in. Using those words create a short sentence or two that are easy to repeat.
Use words that are meaningful to you and that signify your goal: Peace, Joy, Love, Harmony
The words must have direction, Example: I am not worried or I am Peaceful
If you are a beginner, it may feel strange to repeat these phrases but the key is to relax and just start the process. You can start by repeating a few times, however, since the ultimate goal of an Affirmation or Mantra is to block out the world, the more you repeat it and concentrate, the further you will dive inside our consciousness. Maybe instead of keeping count of how many times you have repeated the phrase, a better idea might be to aim for a certain amount of time that is spent per period of practice.
I am light
Past, Present, Future are one
I feel, I exist
Love is in everything. Everything is Love
I have faith
It is important to do it your own way. Refine your own traditions, habits or practices to create a routine that works best for you.
Using affirmations and mantras at the beginning or end of a meditation will enhance your experience. You will begin to feel confident in your new state of mind and you will see how your thoughts and words create your world.