Daily stresses, which are often as trivial as getting stuck in traffic, are likely to get the best of many of us. It may also seem that on most days, you feel a series of negative emotions – anxiety, irritability, and impatience. There is no doubt that living like this is exhausting, and it can affect not only your quality of life, but also that of your loved ones. That’s why we believe you can benefit a lot from meditation. The problem however, is that you hardly have time for a seated, silent meditation practice. If lack of time is preventing you from practicing meditation, you should try using mantras as your meditation on the go.
What is Mantra Meditation?
A mantra is a powerful instrument of the mind. It is a positive word that is more than capable of encouraging a person to undergo a transformation for the better. What mantra meditation does is prevent negative and destructive emotions from getting worse or escalating, while at the same time helps stimulate positive emotions, like kindness, joy, and peace.
The best thing about having a mantra is that you get to use an effective meditative technique that can easily be incorporated into your own daily routine. You can use this method anywhere and anytime to need it, particularly the moment a negative feeling starts to arise within you.
So, how does this meditation on the go work?
Here’s what you should do to use mantra meditation:
#1 – Identify your negative emotion without any judgment.
Be fully aware of the negative emotions you are feeling. It’s important that you take notice of the negative emotion the moment you feel it. You are likely to notice some psychological signs, such as tense shoulders, shortness of breath, chest pressure, an upset stomach, heavy sweating, and so on. As anxiety and stress manifest themselves in a variety of ways in different people, taping into your body mindfully will enable you to notice how your body responds to stress.
Try to analyze where it is hurting. Look around you and observe the things that are happening in your surroundings that may have caused you to have such feelings. Perhaps you’re running late and so, you’re becoming too frustrated or impatient towards other people. The point is that you have to know yourself and the things around you that are triggering your pain.
Try then, to name the feeling itself. By thinking of your thoughts as mere thoughts, you will be able to detach yourself from such feelings. Then, you turn into an onlooker. Don’t think of yourself as an impatient person. Instead, recognize that impatience just as a feeling, and that emotion doesn’t define you.
When you stop judging yourself, you become more compassionate to yourself. Negative emotions are natural, but you have to respond to such feelings with understanding and kindness, because that is how you can cultivate your well-being. In short, you have to allow yourself to be nurtured.
#2 – Decide to use the positive emotion as your mantra.
Think of a word that can inspire you or give you peace of mind. Positive words can affect your mood and emotions in so many ways. Your intention should be to become and remain positive throughout your day.
Mantras are not statements of beliefs, which is why they are fast and easy to remember. Take note also that your conscious mind can be affected by a single positive word much faster than a statement. So, instead of saying “I am relaxed and very calm in this moment”, you could use the term “Calm” to remind you of what emotion you should be having.
#3 – Take a deep breath.
Make it a habit to take a huge inhale and exhale because breathing plays a very important role in your wellness.
Breath is automatic and autonomic. It is automatic because you can voluntarily take or hold your breath. On the other hand, it is also autonomic as your body is in full control of this function, and breathing happens on its own.
When you have short, shallow breathing, it could mean that you’re under stress. This also boosts your fight-or-flight response, which sends a signal to your brain that you might be in danger. However, if you consciously take deep, slow breaths, it sends a message to your brain that everything is okay. And then, your body’s relaxation response gets activated, which then results in your heart rate slowing down, your blood pressure decreasing, and your muscles relaxing.
How does positive thinking or meditation affect the function and structure of the brain?
According to studies in neuroscience, practicing meditation and positive thinking can help alter the function as well as the structure of the brain. As a matter of fact, regular mental training can help influence one’s moods.
Once you form the habit of using mantras and deep breathing, you will be able to get through your day not experiencing too much stress and anxiety. As a result also, you will feel more patience, emotional stability, and even energy.
By living a more positive life through meditation, you will also be cultivating compassion in your own self, and this will manifest in your relationships with other people. You will experience a bigger capacity to love. This means that you can be a better wife, mother, sister, friend, colleague, or member of the community.
Of course, there will always be negative emotions along the way, and they may arise in you from time to time because they are a natural part of your being human. But when you have an effective meditation strategy, you will find yourself successfully rising above such emotions, even on your busiest and most stressful days.
Again, the key is to believe that life is beautiful and that you are an important part of it. You don’t necessarily have to sit still in a quiet place in order to meditate. All you need to do is put in the effort to practice mindfulness on the go. A little goes a long way! Namaste.