If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you know all about PTSD and trauma. But in case you’re new, trauma can be a super stressful condition that affects every part of your life, leaving you easily triggered and stuck in patterns of depression, anxiety and rumination. There is life after tauma if you’re willing to do the work, but it can be really hard. So I like to make sure I’ve got plenty of tools and I make it a goal to share as many of those tools as possible to help others heal too. Today, the tool I want to talk about is called a mantra.
What is a mantra?
A mantra is a word, phrase or statement that is used in repetition to help adjust your mindset and cause a certain thought to take route. This way, it can act as a guide for your thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions and reactions. Mantras have been used for centuries to calm the mind, reduce stress, promote healing and help us get from Point A to Point B. I’ve found that they can be especially helpful when healing from PTSD.
How can a mantra help with PTSD?
A mantra can help with PTSD in several ways. Firstly, it can help to quiet the mind and reduce anxiety so it’s really great to have in your pocket during trigger moments. When you repeat a mantra, you are focusing your mind on a single thought, which can help to quiet the other thoughts that may be causing anxiety or stress.
Secondly, a mantra can help to create a sense of safety and security. For someone with PTSD, the world can feel like a dangerous and unpredictable place. By repeating a mantra that creates a sense of safety and security, such as “I am safe” or “I am protected,” you can begin to shift your perception of the world and feel more grounded.
Thirdly, a mantra can help to promote healing. By repeating a mantra that promotes healing, such as “I am healing” or “I am getting better every day,” you can begin to believe in yourself and your ability to heal.
It’s important to make sure that whatever you choose feels right and authentically you, so that it is easier to put your belief and energy behind it. The one I started with, that to be honest, I still return to when I’m feeling the need, is “Even though what happened happened, I will be okay because I am strong and I am healing.” So mine was a longer one and that worked really well for me, but you need to figure out what works best for you because different types of mantras are going to work in different ways for different people. It’s a very personal process.
How to use a mantra
Once you have chosen your mantra, here are some tips for using it to help with your healing process:
Set your intentions.
What is it that you want to achieve? What are your goals for the mantra? Is it more self-compassion or stronger boundaries, learning to say no or maybe learning to say yes depending on the situation? Less nightmares or more positive connections? You want to create an association between this intention and your mantra so that you can stay connected. So keep this intention in the back of your mind as you repeat the mantra to yourself.
Now, this is where you have some options.
One way of doing it is to just start repeating it to yourself.
You can say it out loud, in your head, or write it down. You can set a timer for ten minutes and just sit there repeating it or you can go a more relaxed route of just saying it throughout the day when you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed.
Visuals and journaling
Create a visual of your mantra and put it somewhere that you’ll see often. It can be simple- just words on paper. Or it can be fancy and beautifully designed- whatever motivates you to look at it and take note of it. Also try writing it out again and again each day in your journal. Even if you don’t go back and read your journal entries, for many people, the simple act of writing something can help it take route deeper in your mind.
Pay attention to the results
Once you’re repeating, writing, reading, hearing your mantra all the time, you want to make sure that you are paying attention to the way that you’re thinking and feeling. Notice how the mantra is effecting your life. Are you more focused and more present? Are you thinking more positively and strongly about yourself and the world around you? Making changes to be more in tune with who and where you want to be? Your mantra should be helping you to be more in touch with your goals and more in control of how you feel, act and react.
The right mantra is important.
Having a mantra can be super effective as long as you’re willing to do the work and make sure that you’re choosing the right one. Again, choose a mantra that resonates with you, set your intention, and then repeat repeat repeat.
If you need help creating the perfect mantra, I have a training for that in my facebook group and I’d love to support you. Pop on over to get instant access, or shoot me a message for a direct link to the training. It’s a multi-part training that includes a lot of information about mantras, and I also guide you through two different methods of forming your perfect mantra. The goal is to leave the training with a mantra to try.
If you do create a mantra and give this a shot, feel free to come tell me how it’s working out for you because I would absolutely LOVE to hear all about it and help cheer you on.
Till next time…
(Also, if you’re in need of a new journal for writing and re-writing your mantra, I’d love to create one for you. I can even burn your mantra directly into the cover of it. Just shoot me a message or head on over to my etsy shop.)