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This is part four of a five part series exploring simple, easy to implement stress management techniques we can do every day. These are powerful techniques that are easy to learn and they do not take a lot of time or effort. If you do not have time to listen to a guided relaxation CD, or participate in an exercise program or meditate for 30 minutes each day, then these techniques will give you a quick way to begin to combat the effects of stress. No excuses, everyone has time for this stuff so let’s get to work!
The power of the mind should not be underestimated! You can achieve marvelous things by using your mind to combat stress and one of the best techniques to train the mind involves the use of mantras. Mantras are affirmations, or a formula of invocation, that can deeply affect your ability to manage stress. Mantras have the power to alter our lives in ways you can scarcely imagine and they have been used for literally thousands of years. Mantras are easy to learn, require minimal time and effort and can lead to tremendous personal growth.
For our purposes a mantra is a short phrase that is repeated over and over until it is ingrained in your consciousness. Think of it as planting a seed in your mind that will grow and flourish until it is an unconquerable and indomitable part of your will. The beauty of a mantra is that you can pick any short phrase that suits your personal needs. For example, you can pick a general phrase like; “My body is warm and relaxed”, or something more specific; “I can control my neck pain at all times”. Whatever your need, you can select a mantra to target your personal stress issue. My mantra concerns a chronic back injury and pain management. I live with pain 24 hours a day. Through the use of mantras I have been able to eliminate my need for pain medication and have significantly improved the quality of my life. Here’s how you can begin to use mantras every day.
Upon waking in the morning, sit on the edge of your bed and take three deep diaphragmatic breaths, pausing after you inhale, and then exhaling fully and completely. For a description of diaphragmatic breathing, see part one of this article. Read your positive intention list to remind yourself about the things in your life that bring you joy as we discussed in part two of this article. Then, for 60 seconds, silently repeat your mantra in your mind. My mantra each morning is; “My body is filled with healing light, I am pain free!” I often repeat my mantra each time I take one of my 40 daily diaphragmatic breaths. At night, before bed, once again take three deep breaths, read your positive intention list and repeat your mantra for 60 seconds. This will help you to deeply ingrain the mantra into your consciousness.
Mantras are meant to be stated with a strong focus and inner conviction. You must believe with your soul in the power of this technique, and with each passing day know that you will be increasing the effectiveness of this powerful technique. So, what’s your mantra?
In part five of this article we will talk about how we can simply tune out for a while to regain the balance of peace that is so often missing in our lives.