I’ll admit that when I first heard about this a couple of years ago, I was quick to judge and dismiss it as some new age crap, which was only reserved to the Yogis among us. Definitely nothing a city gal like myself was interested in, let alone needed. Well, at that point in my life I didn’t.
Photo credit: Alexandra Lavizzari
Two years ago however, I came to a point in my life where I reached my all time low, suffering a meltdown of a sort and it was thanks to my personal mantras that I managed to even get out of bed in the morning. That’s how powerful they turned out to be.
I’m not going to lie and claim I got the hang of it right away or that they worked the instant I repeated the first one to myself. No, like all the best things in life, this too took a bit of practice. The hard part for me being, actually coming up with a mantra of my own. Something I could relate to, take seriously and cling to whenever life got rough. Weeks and weeks of racking my brain, googling “mantras” and looking for inspiration everywhere (bookstores, magazine articles, motivational quotes etc.), I came up with my very own mantra: “I have a healthy body and healthy mind and I am going to take good care of both”.
It may not sound like much at first, but at that specific moment in my life, it meant everything to me. Whenever I’d wake up in the morning, unwilling to face the day, I’d repeat this sentence in my head and BOOM, it did the trick right there. Of course, I still hit the snooze button of my alarm like 100 times, but something changed: I had a purpose. I had a body and mind that required my attention and had to be taken care of. Much like a small child, they had to be showered, dressed and fed.
That became my goal every morning: Get out of bed and get your circulation going. Fuel your body with something nutritious and healthy. Before I knew it, I was googling healthy breakfast ideas and smoothie recipes online the night before and would get excited at the prospect of trying them out the following morning. Baby steps…
That’s how I discovered the power of mantras. I came up with a bunch of other ones for everyday life crisis. Two of my favorites (which I found online) are:
“I’ve weathered other storms before. I’ll get through this one too.”
Both affirmations remind me of the strong person I am inside, even though in that particular moment, I might not necessarily feel that way at all. Hey, we all have those moments and it’s OK. We’re human after all and struggles are part of life just like the air we breathe. The trick is to remind oneself that we are strong. No matter what others say or think, or what we feel like. Our feelings do not determine who we are as a person! And that’s another mantra right there.
Try it for yourself. Positive messages and affirmations to ourselves are a great way of practicing self-love and self- appreciation.
With my initial mantra, I came to rediscover my passion for fitness. After reading numerous articles on how exercise benefits the mind by releasing a cocktail of so called happy hormones (endorphins, serotonin etc.), I decided to give it a go. I signed up to the nearest gym and after two weeks of visiting a few of their group fitness courses (what can I say, I am not a fan of machines), I noticed how my body was changing and becoming leaner, more toned and ultimately stronger.
I cannot begin to describe to you how powerful that felt and still does. By adopting a balanced diet and exercising regularly, my body was responding in ways I had never noticed before and that changed my whole perception of myself. I went from “I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin and am not really up for anything” to “Hey, I feel strong and want to see how much further I can push myself”. I developed a completely different relationship with my body and have vowed to do the best I can to take the best care of it until the rest of my days. And hopefully, it will thank me by continuing to be strong and taking me from A to B.