The Puppy Mantra
Did you know that it's been scientifically proven that the way you talk to yourself and the thoughts you have about yourself have a profound effect on your health & wellbeing? Here's the proof, yo.
So how do we change the way we talk to ourselves, especially after what could be years of habitual negative talk? Enter the mantra. Technically, a mantra is a word, sound or phrase repeated over and over to aid concentration, usually in meditation. When you break it down, "man" means "mind" and "tra" means "instrument or tool," making a mantra an instrument of the mind¹. But mantra isn't just used in meditation. For example, I have my favorite mantra, "Rest in the grace of the world and be free," posted on my laptop where I can read it while I work. Those particular words are from a Wendell Berry poem, and just reading the mantra on any given stressful day reminds me of the tranquil images that the poem creates.
A mantra can be a simple "I" statement, such as "I am light." It can even be a quote by someone you admire, like Carl Jung: "I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become," or the greatest philosopher of our time, Oprah: "Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." Or, it can just be a phrase you like: "Today, the world is on my side." Regardless of what you choose, picking a mantra and posting it somewhere you'll see it often (on your bathroom mirror, on your steering wheel, beside your clock at the office) will help to reinforce the positive message and create new cognitive patterns in your brain, helping to flush out any repetitive negativity.
For another example of mantra, I went to the expert on being happy and living in the moment: our dog, Ben. I hope you enjoy his words of wisdom, which he practices first-hand every single day.
1 Source: The Chopra Center, "What is a Mantra?"