Wouldn’t it be great if you could flick a little switch in your head, to enable you to achieve more, spot opportunities, and get ultra-confident? Or perhaps a switch to relieve stress, or help you sleep and tune in to peace and calm? There are two tools that do exactly that: affirmations and mantras.
The Difference Between Affirmations and Mantras
Affirmations and mantras are often used interchangeably, yet they have their roots in very different cultures. Mantras are sounds or short phrases that are repeated over and over, usually during meditation. They help bring the meditator to a state of relaxation, connection, and peace. Mantras have long been a cornerstone of the practice of Buddhism.
On the other hand, affirmations are a modern invention, designed by neuroscientists, to bring about a positive change in the subject. To alter thought patterns and neural connections. Affirmations are positive phrases repeated throughout the day, either in thought, whispers or out loud. One study discovered students who used positive affirmations at the start of term, achieved a higher grade-point average than they had during previous semesters.
How to Use Mantras
Try using the mantra, ‘Ananda’, during a simple meditation. Ananda means ‘bliss’ in Sanskrit.
Make sure you will be uninterrupted. Switch off your phone. If you like, you can play soft music, or let the ambient sounds from inside and outside your home be part of your meditation.
Sit comfortably. It’s best not to lie down if your intention is to stay awake. Close your eyes. Allow your hands to rest, palms facing up. Deliberately relax your whole body beginning with your head, face and neck. Mentally work your way down, relaxing as you go.
Breathe steadily and gently, focusing on the out breath, counting to three before breathing in again. Get into a comfortable rhythm, then let your body take care of it.
Begin speaking, whispering or mentally repeating the word ‘ananda’. Let it become part of your breath. Let it fill your heart and soul with a blissful feeling which spreads throughout your body, all around you, infusing your aura with love and light. Ananda. Bliss.
Continue for as long as you like. When you want to come out of it. Stop speaking, count to five and open your eyes.
Use this ananda meditation as often as you like, whenever you like. Try it when you can’t get to sleep, when you want to feel calm and joyful, and when you simply feel the need to connect with your source.
Om – A universal sacred mantra sound. Divine energy, the beginning of all. It is represented by various symbols, which can also form part of a meditation.
Many find that using a word they can relate to works better for them, so choose words in your native language.
Love – The English word, ‘love’ works well as a mantra. When you meditate on the word love, visualize it as universal energy, rather than as a romantic connection.
Now – repeating the word ‘now’ to bring your thoughts into the present moment is a very effective mantra.
Mun-ee – (Money) can soothe and relax your thoughts around the idea of money, or lack of it. This enables money-energy to flow more efficiently through your life.
Use affirmations during your day without entering a state of meditation – though of course, you can use affirmations in meditations if you want to. It’s up to you how you use them, which ones you choose and when you repeat them. Our suggestion is that you pick no more than two, and use them exclusively for at least a week.
Ideas how to use affirmations include writing them on post-it notes and leaving them where you will see them, such as on your bathroom mirror or your alarm clock. Some even go as far as having their favorite positive affirmation tattooed on their body, but we don’t recommend that. We’ve heard of people wearing an elastic wrist band to remind them to say their affirmation throughout the day. One of our favorite methods is to use positive affirmations in a journal. Either by writing them down over and over, or journaling about what a particular affirmation means and expanding on the ideas it generates.
Examples of Positive Affirmations
The most effective affirmations are the most simple. Don’t over complicate them by trying to stuff too many ideas into one affirmation.
- Life is easy for me.
- I am confident. I am enthusiastic. I am creative.
- Opportunities come to me constantly.
- I am healthy and prosperous.
- I always look for the best in others.
- I attract happiness, health and prosperity.
- I live my life in joyful expectation.
- I look for the good in everything.
- I am at peace with my situation.
- I release resistance and go with the flow.
- I am one with the Universe.
- I am constantly connected to Source.
- I am unique.
- I am healthy, wealthy and wise.
- I am fine just the way I am.
- I am focussed on learning. I absorb new information and new ideas easily.
- I am a magnificent creator.
- I am the director of my own life.
- I am open to receive the abundance of the Universe.
- I am worthy of all that is good.
- I constantly move towards optimal health.
- My physical energy is always increasing.
- My body is healthy and fit.
- The supply of my well-being is infinite.
- Source energy flows through me.
- My potential is limitless.
- I am much more than this physical body.
- I feel healthy, vital and alive.
- Imagination is my path to abundance.
- There are only positive decisions.
- My gift to the world is my happiness.
- I am joy and ease.
- I am content, yet expectant.
- The only way is up.
- Life gets better and better for me.
- Love flows to me, and through me.
- I have the power.
- I have clarity of mind and vision.
- There is no end to Divine possibility.