Sunday, July 20, 2014

14 Mantras for Mindful Living

by Romila “Dr. Romie” Mushtaq, MD

Mindfulness is a state of being. Mindfulness can be described in two simple words: pay attention. By paying attention, we are present in the current moment. Often the biggest challenge is, how can we carry this state of mindfulness into our daily lives? Mindfulness is a part of mindful living. One way to train our minds to a positive state of thinking is with the use of mindful mantras.

Mantra is an ancient Sanskrit term. It is a word or phrase repeated to help in meditation. In modern day use, the term mantra has also come to be known as a phrase or truism that is repeated often. I use these mindful mantras as affirmations or prescriptions for the soul. It is a method for me to carry that feeling of inner peace from my meditation mat into my daily life.

Self-Compassion: Self Care Is Not Selfish
Mantra for self-compassion: Self care is not selfish. When we don't fill our own vessel, we give from a place of empty. When we give from a place of empty, we don't give of our best self. True acts of self care involve nurturing the heart and soul with activities that bring you sustained joy.

Compassion Towards Others: Share a Smile
Mantra for compassion towards others: I share a smile. How can we show compassion for others? Share a smile, a warm embrace, or a kiss with a loved one. With human touch, a powerful hormone oxytocin is released which will elevate the mood and reduce stress hormones in our brains and body.

In Giving Forgiveness, I Am Healed
Mantra for forgiveness: In giving forgiveness, I am healed. If we cannot forgive ourselves or another, we fuel negative emotions such as anger and resentment. Once we make a choice to forgive, our mind, heart, and soul is open for healing and love.

Disconnect to Reconnect
Mantra to reconnect: I disconnect to reconnect. Our digital devices can be a source of constant distractions and create an inability to focus. Make a commitment to power off for a minimum of 20 minutes daily in order to refocus, reconnect, and re-energize.

Attitude of Gratitude
Mantra for gratitude: I choose an attitude of gratitude. When we focus on the blessings in our life, our minds tune into a positive frequency attracting more blessings. Grateful people live happier and healthier lives.

Gracious Listening
Mantra for listening: I practice gracious listening. To be truly present for another human being, just listen. Gracious listening is the ability to be present and listen without having judgment. Gracious listening is also hearing what another has to say without trying to formulate a response in your own mind.

Connect to Joy
Mantra for happiness: I connect to joy. Happiness is transient when we look to external objects or circumstances for pleasure. To connect to inner joy, try to be present in the moment and take pleasure in the simple things in life.

Be One With Nature
Mantra to be present in the moment: I will be one with nature. When we feel like we can't slow down our hectic lives or our racing minds, stepping out into nature helps us to pause. When we are one with nature, we are one with ourselves. This is being present in the current moment.

Mantra for mindfulness: breathe. How can we remember to be present and pay attention to the current moment? All we need to do is remember to breathe. Inhale deeply. Exhale deeply. Repeat.

Be Still
Mantra to quiet the chaos: I allow myself to be still. External distractions always have the possibility to throw us off balance. We can choose to be still. When we choose to be still, we can connect to inner peace despite the external chaos.

One Step In a New Direction
Mantra for moving forward: I take one step in a new direction. It is easy to feel overwhelmed if we want to make a change in our personal or professional lives. Instead of feeling fearful, stuck, or stagnant in a situation, ask yourself one question. What is one step you can take to move in a new direction?

How Can I Be of Service?
Mantra to create a difference: how can I be of service? We all want to spread good in the world. When you walk into a new situation, pause. Ask yourself, "How can I truly be of help or service?" Through a small action, we can make a big difference in another person's life.

Take a Leap of Faith
Mantra to overcome fear: I take a leap of faith. Let go of your fear and hold on to your dreams. This is how we can take that leap of faith.

Flow From a Place of Grace
Mantra for ease: I flow from a place of grace. It is difficult to be in the moment when we are worried about an outcome of a situation. If we allow life to unfold with trust that everything is occurring in perfect timing, we can then flow from a place of grace.