Tuesday, April 24, 2007

To Mantra or Not Mantra - That is the Question!

I've heard some say to have a mantra as it helps get through stressful times. What the heck is a mantra? Do you have one? Someone shared the following with me.

A mantra is just a word or a phrase that you repeat several times aloud or in your mind that helps bring a sense of calm and peace to you. "Mantra" literally means "to free from the mind," and that's what it does – repeating a mantra helps banish all those many anxious thoughts or stressful feelings we seem to acquire throughout the day and clears the mind.

When you repeat a mantra, it has been shown to have a direct impact on the body and emotions. In studies done of people who repeated their mantras daily, it was found that they had reduced their stress levels and anxiety and increased their sense of well-being. So you could think of a mantra as your "comfort" words.

While a mantra can be a prayer, like saying the "Hail Mary" used on a rosary or the "om-mani-padme-om" in Buddhism, a mantra can also be a personal motto, or a phrase that inspires you or that expresses something you believe in. It could be something like "go with the flow," "all is well," "take it easy," (cofman - now you're a mantra) or "love surrounds me." It's important that whatever you choose is something personal that has meaning for you.

Saying your mantra daily could even help your heart. According to a study in a British medical journal, when people recited their mantras, their breathing became more regular and synchronized with their heart rhythms. This stable respiratory rate is beneficial for long-term heart health.

You can say your mantra at any time throughout the day, for as long or short a time as you wish. You can "think" your mantra while waiting somewhere or riding public transportation, or devote some time at home to say it aloud as a form of meditation when you can sit comfortably.

Create your own little oasis of peace throughout the day, and you'll be the better for it. Do you have a mantra?


mani said...

salam ibee :).. yes I do have a few indeed which I always repeat:

- Subhana Allah
- Alhamd Lillah
- La ilah illah Allah
- Allah Akbar

repeating mantra's enters u in a transcendental state. Thee benfits u mentioned prove that mantra's and other forms of calming thought actually does influence the properties of matter... wether in us or around us...

good to see u back . salam :)

Anglo-Libyan said...

I would say that I do say prayers on daily basis just like mani, I suppose then I do have a mantra!
is it an indian word?

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Mani,
I agree with you on the calming effect. Certainly can get you grounded and re-focused.

Nice to see you as well.

Salam AngloLibyan,
I do the same as you, and never really thought of them as mantras myself. Actually never really gave the word a thought until that article was shared with me.


1. holy word in meditation: in Hindu and Buddhist religious practice, a sacred word, chant, or sound that is repeated during meditation to facilitate spiritual power and transformation of consciousness.

2. often repeated expression or idea: an expression or idea that is repeated, often without thinking about it, and closely associated with something.

Mixed Up Me said...

Okay, here's mine . . . "she's finally asleep, she's finally asleep!!"

Obviously I repeat that one at night . . .

. . . During the day, I say . . . "Thank God for school!"

Love ya

ibeebarbie said...

Mixed up me, as always you make me laugh. Can you imagine combining a Mantra with laughter? How good would we feel?

a_akak said...

Thanks For the lovely article :).

I think with Islam we have alot of short Duaa (prayers) which could be recited and i use a few that help me when i get stress (which is not that often)

Fe Aman Allah (In Gods Protection)

ibeebarbie said...

Salam A-Akak,
Thank you for stopping by and sharing. Also was happy to see the translation of Fe Aman Allah (In Gods Protection) as I see you always end with it, but never knew the English translations, shukran.