Have you ever broken a fortune cookie and read just the right message for you? Or caught the lyrics of a song that resonated with you as an important reminder?
At Momentum, we call these inspiring, short phrases mantras. We’ve brainstormed hundreds of mantras to inspire our Momentum community…but what are mantras really? Where do they come from? And how do they work?
Mantras can be a powerful tool to re-center on your values or on a desired state of mind. With a few tips to create and repeat your own mantras, you can power your mindset and even become more resilient to situations that would normally take you out.
What does 'mantra' mean?
Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means ‘mind vehicle.’ It comes from the Vedas, or the ancient Indian texts that are also the source of yoga and Ayurveda. Meditation masters in this tradition would use mantras to bring the mind beyond thoughts and fears.
As meditation spread all over the world, different terms and practices have changed and been adapted. Though the original meaning of ‘mantra’ never included inspiring phrases in English, there were certain kinds of mantras that packed a lot of meaning into a few sounds.
Though our version of mantras is different than the historical or original meaning, we like to think of short, meaningful phrases as mantras as well. You’ll also hear these phrases called affirmations or mottos.
How to create a meaningful mantra
There are 3 main ways to create a mantra. From fear, from joy, or by listening.
1. Fight your fears and demons
When do you find yourself losing heart, or faltering in your motivation? Those are the times that a mantra could help you stay on track and battle discouraging thoughts and emotions.
For example, if you sometimes feel social anxiety, you can repeat “I am worthy” or “I am enough.” When you feel overwhelmed about a big goal or dream, that’s the perfect time to repeat “the obstacle is the way” or “focus on the next step.”
2. Turn joys into triggers
When do you feel like a superstar? Those moments when you’re in your element and crushing your day…what does that feel like? Are there values that are important to you to model, or reminders that make you feel free and happy?
If you value resourcefulness and essentialism, you might repeat, “do more with less.” If you’re a spiritual person, you might repeat “Have faith” or “surrender and trust.” If you feel your best while sharing or creating, you might repeat “don’t hold back” or “express yourself fully.” If you feel best when you’re following your instincts, your mantra might be “Everything I need is inside me.”
3. Let your mantras come to you
Sometimes you’ll come across a sentence in a book or a lyric in a song that resonates and sticks with you. It could be something someone says or a line in a movie. Paying attention to the content around you can be a good way to let a mantra find you.
Though you can write down or repeat a mantra to yourself anytime to get inspired, your mantra can most powerfully change your mindset when you repeat it many times. That mantra and the associated emotion will then start to arise anytime you feel off balance.
If you’ve anchored your mantra by repeating it many times in meditation or throughout your day, that mantra can become stronger than your discouraging thoughts. Your mantra can turn from a phrase to a core belief over time, one that replaces old beliefs that were negative into positive new beliefs.
The mantras that appear on our chrome extension range from motivating, calming, and inspiring. You can skip mantras, favorite ones you like, and even add your own with a Momentum Plus subscription.
Keeping meaningful mantras handy is a great way to keep your mindset on track and your values at the forefront of your mind. And what better way to remember them than with each new tab you open?
If you have suggestions for mantras we should add to the Momentum Dash, please contact us. We love finding new mantras and learning why they’re important to you!