Despite popular belief, creating a mantra is not reserved for earth mamas who meditate for 2 hours every morning. This practice requires no extra time out of your day, making it accessible for busy moms who could use a bit more balance and mindfulness interwoven into their routines.
The word “mantra” comes from manas (mind) and tra (tool) in sanskrit, and the more tools we can add to our tool-kit, the better, especially ones which help calm our minds.
For a quick way to adapt this ancient practice into your modern life, choose an affirmative statement, such as “I am calm.”, “Today, I will move slowly.” or “I trust my intuition.” Select a statement, word, or sentence that resonates best with you, and one that can be repeated daily. The repetition is what leads us to an embodiment.
Once you have your mantra, you can think it, whisper it, chant it, write it down. This is your choice, but I would recommend writing it when you wake up, believing it to yourself throughout the day, and speaking it out loud when you’re in an overwhelming situation until it becomes a habit. You may even choose to have a physical reminder in your space of this mantra. Physical reminders have been shown to significantly boost goal achievement by serving as a disruptor to our typical routine. Try writing your mantra on a post-it in your bedroom, or assigning meaning to a magnet on the fridge, or even changing the background of your phone to an image that reminds you of the phrase you’ve chosen.
Having a positive mantra as a mother can be a grounding way to root into the present and acknowledge your strengths. When you find yourself feeling frustrated by another mess you thought you just cleaned up, dealing with an absurd circumstance during potty-training, being completely confused by your child’s math homework, or wanting to eat a pint of ice cream to calm down once everyone has gone to bed, remember your mantra:
I am calm.
I am in control.
I trust my body.
I am kind.
I radiate love.
I am grateful.
Allow your mantra to root you back to who you are and what you stand for. Use it as a tool to strengthen your intuitive muscle and crowd out any “shoulds” or unnecessary mom-guilt. This mantra can be a reminder that you are a superwoman, and you are doing your best! Mantras can offer us more mental space by reducing the noise that swirls around in our heads. Research suggests that mantra repetition slows racing thoughts and improves cognitive function.
I can’t promise you’ll feel enlightened from this practice, but maybe the sheer irony of the mantra in that moment of distress will spark a laugh, and that’s a win in itself.