Tips, tricks, and my ideas for developing a mantra.
Before I get into today’s post, I want to extend a huge thank you to all of you. Last week I got more personal than usual here on IBC with my Sun-Dried Tomatoes post. The number of comments, messages, and emails I received in response to that post was beyond anything I ever expected. Before hitting “publish,” I had every intention of responding to all of the messages I received, but I was totally overwhelmed as they poured in. So while it’s impossible for me to reply to each of you (I hope you understand.), I do want you to know how much I appreciated your ideas, insights, and words of wisdom. Even if you offered no advice, just knowing that you cared enough to read my thoughts meant so much to me. My deepest thanks to all of you!
Developing a Mantra
For those who may be wondering, I think I might have a plan (thanks in large part to all of your input)! What I’m thinking of doing seems like the perfect solution to all of my issues. It will give me the larger city life I crave, while still allowing me to keep my home in St. Marys. Plus, the ability to purchase my grandparents’ home will still be an option and things should work with my kitties, too. And, as a added bonus, it will open up new ideas to share here on IBC.
I’m still mulling things over and trying to figure out some of the logistics, but I will certainly pop back in and share more when the time is right.
Again, thank you all so much. Having a place like this to share is awesome in itself, but having a community that responds with so much love and support is beyond incredible.
Tips for Developing a Mantra
As I mentioned in that post, I’ve consulted a professional in an attempt to get my head where it needs to be. While I’ve talked to my doctor in the past and have used medication to help, I never felt “good” about that. To me, it always felt like a temporary fix rather than a real solution.
So, I did a little research and found a therapist nearby who teaches Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Based on what I’ve read about it, this approach seemed like something that might work for me. I’ve only had a couple of appointments, so if you want more information on this type of therapy, feel free to do an online search. Also, I don’t pretend to be an expert on this (clearly I’m not); I’m just sharing my journey. Everyone has his/her own path to happiness, so there is no judgment if yours is different from mine.
Anyway, on my last appointment, I was given the homework of reciting a “thought to practice,” also known as a mantra. (For those who might not know, a mantra is a thought that one repeats silently during meditation.)
There is a deeper explanation, but in essence, the brain starts to believe what it is told over and over again. My issue is that for years, I’ve basically been telling my brain that I’m not good enough. (The “not good enough” encompasses a bunch of things.) And because of my job and social media, this message has gotten more intense in recent years.
After a deeper discussion, I was given the following thought to repeat to myself: “I am a fallible human being, and I make mistakes just like everyone else. Therefore, I’m worthy of love and respect just like everyone else.”
This thought is to be repeated 30 times a day for 30 days. The idea is that the more you say and think it, the more your brain starts to believe it.
This mantra can be repeated at any point throughout the day, but it has more of an impact when you incorporate as many senses as possible. For example, you could repeat it while on a walk, say it to yourself every time you look in a mirror, or opt to say it instead of snacking on that donut that only momentarily makes you feel better.
I’m sure this sounds like a bunch of bunk to some folks. However, it makes sense to me, and it’s totally worth a shot. At this point, I’ve got nothing to lose. Unlike in the past, I’m giving this all my effort in hopes of improving myself and adding a bit more happiness to my life.
The interesting thing about all of this is that it’s really not a new concept. Being a self-help book junkie, I’ve read about the benefits of this practice time and time again. In fact, Alison of The Alison Show, sort of touched on it in her recent podcast (Episode 8.) She has been using a similar concept (while also including gratitude) in her exercise and weight-loss journey. It’s totally working for her. (I haven’t listened to all of her episodes, but I do recommend that one if you have time for a quick listen.)
After using my assigned mantra for a few days, I decided to tweak it a bit. What I was given didn’t really roll off the tongue for me. So, I’ve changed it to: “I am a fallible human being worthy of love and respect. And I love myself.” It’s a bit shorter and easier for me to say while still communicating the same message to my brain. Because of this, I now find myself saying this mantra even more.
Not everyone struggles with the feeling of not being enough, so each person’s mantra will be different. If you want to give this a go, take some time to reflect on what’s a struggle for you and then create a mantra to suit. Googling “motivation mantras” might provide a jumping-off point.
Whether this will work for me is still to be determined, but I intend to give it a try. I’ll pop back in around 30 days and let you know what shakes out and maybe offer some more insight. Here’s hoping!
Do you use a mantra in your daily life? Or have you done so in the past? What effects have you seen?