Can a Personal Mantra Aid Your Addiction Recovery?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “words are power”? Well, we would have to agree, and one place where you see that most powerfully manifested is in the use of mantras.
Literally, a mantra is a word or phrase that can be repeated over and over again in order to promote concentration, particularly for meditation. However, a mantra has many meanings and purposes. Sometimes it’s a prayer, and many people recovering from addiction use the serenity prayer as a sort of mantra to re-focus the mind.
However, a mantra can also be thought of as a slogan, a rallying cry, a catchphrase, or positive self-talk.
Do Mantras Actually Work?
Absolutely they do. Think about it: words are sounds. They move with energy and vibration. Some ancient chants and mantras are said to align you with the vibration of the universe. But if that all sounds too new-age-y to you, consider the last time you listened to a song that moved you deeply. Do you think it was due, in part at least, to the words that are repeated throughout the song? How about the underlying vibrations and sounds that the song makes? Conversely, think about a negative phrase. Think about how it would affect you if you heard someone tell you “you’re hideous!” each and every morning as you walked out your front door. Whether or not you believed them, don’t you think it would start having an effect on you? Think about the powerful effect you can have when you, instead, choose to repeat positive phrases to yourself.
Mantras Tap Into Your Natural Mental Power
Science supports the fact that mantras have power. Certain chants or words have been found to literally increase strength, make individuals more able to bear pain, or to stay focused in the midst of fear and trauma.
Strong phrases repeated at key moments are powerful because they direct our thoughts. With each repetition they become stronger, because they carry not only their original connotations and meaning, but also each subsequent moment wherein you reached for those words for strength and meaning.
When we repeat words, whether they’re good or bad, they carve paths in our brains. They create patterns and sink into our subconscious. Through purposefully planting positive words and phrases, we can further our purposes and goals in powerful ways.
Choosing Your Mantra
While there are many ancient and traditional mantras to be found, the truth is that your personal mantra is as unique as you are. You have the power to customize the message that you want to reinforce in your life over and over again.
In order to choose your own mantra, start by identifying a trait that you want to develop, or a weak point that you want to counter. Think about an unhelpful lie that you tend to tell yourself in moments of stress and sadness. Now, think of a positive message that will empower you and direct you into more positive paths. Make sure that it’s a positive statement, as opposed to a negative one, i.e. avoid words like “no,” “not,” “don’t,” and “without.” For example, “I am in control” can be more powerful than “alcohol is not in control of me.” Make sure that your mantra is short and sweet, and you can call it up at a moment’s notice.