Are you looking to elevate your meditation practice? Empowering mantras can be a great tool to boost your awareness, focus better during the meditation, and can help cultivate a particular emotion that you’re needing.
If you’re wondering how to use mantras, how to choose a mantra for meditation, and some examples, keep reading. Also, keep an eye out at the end of the article for a free download with a list of empowering mantras for meditation that will help you feel empowered during and after your practice.
I was introduced to mantras while doing an Oprah and Deepak 21-day meditation challenge. I was pretty new to meditation at the time, so when I realized that the meditations in the challenge used Sanskrit mantras, I was very caught off guard.
Sanskrit mantras are very different than English mantras that are more commonly used today.
Sankrit mantras date way back and are said to be particularly sacred because of the sounds and syllables that make up the ancient language. You’ve probably associated meditation with “om” which is actually a Sanskrit word. It’s taught that Sanskrit words use seed sounds that mimic the actual vibration of the word it translates to. For example, “shreem” is the seed sound of abundance, and when said, it creates the actual vibration of abundance in the Universe.
While knowing this definitely intrigued me, and I loved the idea of communicating to the universe “faster” to receive deeper healing (at least that’s how I was interpreting it), the fact that I had no idea what I was saying turned me off to them.
One of the benefits of mantras is to help you focus your attention, but when I was repeating “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”, I was saying the words but still thinking about if I should eat a snack when I was done. I couldn’t relate to the words, therefore, they meant nothing to me. It didn’t matter how many times I said it, I still didn’t feel like ~*a goddess of creativity*~.
I don’t doubt that Sanskrit mantras are an incredible tool, but they weren’t working for me because I couldn’t relate to them. I could have been better off just repeating animal sounds.
Many people may swear by using Sanskrit mantras as the “right” way to use a mantra, but I don’t agree it’s the “right” way if it’s not something that is working for you!
I believe you should always do what feels aligned with you and makes you feel good.
That being said, simple mantras and english mantras are what do it for me.
And to be honest, I don’t always use mantras in my meditation. GASP
I don't always need it! But sometimes I’m feeling particularly stuck in an area of my life and I need empowering. Or, sometimes breathing alone isn’t enough, and I need something else to help me focus. Usually those are the cases when I’ll introduce mantras.
If you’re new to meditation and not sure where to start, before introducing mantras, head over to Meditation 101- A Beginner's Guide.
What are mantras?
A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase you repeat in a meditation practice.
When you sit down to meditate, what happens?
You start thinking about work, and the dishes in the sink, and how you forgot to call your mom back, and that you need to get bananas at the grocery store, and the list goes on and on.
A mantra gives your mind something to do while you meditate. It gives you a focal point so you’re not focusing on each passing thought.
Think of a mantra as a tool to boost awareness and help you focus.
How to choose a mantra for meditation
Good news! There’s really no right or wrong way to choose a mantra.
You can use one word mantras or a phrase similar to a short affirmation as your mantra.
An example of one word mantras may be “breathe”, “grounded”, or “calm”.
An example of a phrase mantra may be “I am calm” or “my life is full of joy”.
You can use the same empowering mantra every day if there’s a theme you’re working on or if you’re feeling stuck in a particular area of your life. Or, you can choose a different mantra each day that aligns with what you’re needing in that moment.
When you sit down for your mediation, ask yourself, “What do I need right now? What am I looking to cultivate in this moment?”
Are you looking for peace? Joy? Love? Calm? Your answer to this question will guide you in choosing your mantra.
Use the examples of mantras below to pick ones to try. Stick with ones that feel good to you. If you’re not resonating with a particular mantra, move on to another.
How to use mantras
So now that you’ve chosen your mantra, it’s time to start using it.
The process will look like a basic meditation, but adding in a word or phrase that you repeat over and over again.
If you’re new to meditation or need more information on how to meditate, start here before moving forward.
Here’s how to use a mantra:
- Find a quiet place without distractions and get comfortable.
- Set a timer. If you’re new to meditation, start with 2-5 minutes.
- Take a few deep breaths and focus on your breathing.
- Recite your mantra out loud or silently in your head.
- Let your breath guide you as you match your mantra to your breathing. This will allow you to settle into a rhythm.
- Repeat the word or phrase over and over again.
- Gently redirect wandering thoughts to your mantra. This is guaranteed to happen. Be gentle with yourself, let the thoughts go, and pick the mantra back up.
- When you’re ready, end the meditation.
When saying your mantra, feel into the word. Don’t say the word just to say it - say it with intention.
If you’re mantra is “love”, feel into what the word “love” feels like. What does love feel like in your chest? How does it overflow into the rest of your body? Hold onto that feeling while you’re repeating the word, and let it overtake you.
Believe what you’re saying. If you don’t totally believe it yet, what would it feel like if the mantra was true? Cultivate that feeling inside of you.
Pro tip: if you’re still having trouble concentrating during your meditation even with a mantra, you can use Mala beads to keep you focused.
Use the list below to pick out a few mantras to get you started. If you’re looking for more examples of mantras or want to print out a list to keep it handy, download our free list of mantras below! It includes over 150 different mantras, so I promise you'll be able to find ones that resonate with you.
List of morning mantras
- It’s going to be a great day.
- I can handle what comes my way.
- I am grateful.
- I am energized.
- I am grounded.
- I am motivated.
- I always do my best.
- I feel alive.
- I’m exactly where I need to be.
- I am safe and all is well.
List of empowering mantras for success
- I will succeed.
- I will make my dreams happen.
- My success is inevitable.
- I am blessed.
- I can make it happen.
- I am worthy of my dreams.
- I am unstoppable.
- I finish what I start.
- I am confident in my abilities.
- I have all I need to succeed.
List of empowering mantras for positive thinking
- The best is yet to come.
- Happiness is always available to me.
- All is well.
- I release negativity.
- I am free of all worries and stress.
- My life is filled with joy.
- I am in flow with life.
- I inhale positivity. I exhale negativity.
- I am unaffected by the judgment of others.
- I embrace positivity.
List of love mantras
- My life is filled with love.
- My heart is open to give and receive.
- I make space for love.
- I welcome love into my life.
- My relationships are fulfilling.
- I am connected to those around me.
- I find love everywhere I go.
- The partner I seek is also seeking me.
- Love comes easily to me.
- I am worthy of love.
List of mantras for anxiety
- I choose calm.
- I am grounded in my body.
- I am safe.
- I am secure.
- I have everything I need.
- I breathe in courage, I exhale doubt.
- I will figure everything out.
- I accept what I cannot control.
- I am at peace.
- I am strong.
List of self confidence mantras
- I believe in myself.
- I love who I am.
- I’m doing my best.
- I trust myself.
- I’m capable of handling anything that comes by way.
- I know my worth.
- I’m proud of myself.
- I deserve to take up space.
- I am loved.
- I am the best version of myself.
When I was forcing myself to use Sanskrit mantras, I couldn’t get myself to be consistent with using them. But once I switched to simple, English mantras that were more like affirmations, I started to see the benefits of using empowering mantras. So I encourage you to try it out!
Keep in mind: your mantra will change as you grow, so be gentle with yourself! Feel free to change your mantra as needed. If you want to deepen your practice, use a journal to reflect on the mantras that you’ve used, how they’ve helped, and what mantras you may need to get to where you want to go.
And if your mantra isn’t giving you immediate results, keep trying.
If you’re new to this, remember that there’s going to be a learning curve! And it takes consistent practice to see optimal benefits, so keep going!
Choosing a mantra that reflects your intention for the meditation can help you focus and get what you need out of it. It’ll help you feel more empowered, which will strengthen your commitment to the practice, which will ultimately maximize the benefits of the meditations.
And who doesn’t love a positive domino effect!
Don’t just consume the information, make sure you’re putting it into practice! (No one needs that reminder more than I do!)
Implement what you learned in this article by downloading our free mantra list below. With over 150 mantras to choose from, it will be perfect to keep handy when you’re deciding on what empowering mantra you need that day!