Daily stressors are a fact of life. Usually, corporate executives have high levels of stress due to the fast-paced nature of the job. To help ease some of this tension we can quiet the mind by using mantras to reduce stress.
While exercise is used to train our bodies, meditation and mantras can be used to train our minds.
According to Dr. Herbert Benson, president and founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard Medical School, those who chanted mantras experienced psychological changes. These changes ranged from reduced heart rate, lower stress levels, and slower metabolism. Benson also documented that repeating mantras can benefit the immune system and relieve insomnia, leading to reduced doctor visits.
The benefits of mantras are real, so why not use them to reduce stress? Mantras are free. There are no side effects. It is so simple and easy. Let’s now look at how to use mantras to reduce stress in just two minutes per day!
1. What is a Mantra?
Mantra is a Sanskrit word. It is derived from two other words manas (mind) and tra (tool), literally translating into ‘a tool of the mind’. A mantra is any word, phrase or sound that helps keep your mind in focus. This act of prolonged repetitive verbal utterance is one of the most common mental practices in human culture.
2. How Mantras Can Reduce Stress
There are two elements that lead mantras to help us reduce stress:
According to a study done by the Department of Psychological & Alternative Medicine at Sri Balaji Clinic in India, by repeating a mantra to yourself it helps to improve concentration and steadiness, helps with mental rejuvenation. A mantra is fueled by the act of repetition.
In a study done by the Neurobiology Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science, mantras were found to have a sedative effect. According to their study, “repetitive speech may account for the long-established psychological calming effect associated with commonly practiced mantra-related meditative practices”.
Another study in Brain and Behavior shows that silently repeating a single word to yourself quiets the system responsible for your mind wandering. This system is called the default network. The default network of the brain is responsible for thoughts when you’re left alone and undisturbed. We know it as a “busy mind”, which happens when we don’t have anything to do and our mind wanders. The understanding behind how mantras reduce stress comes down to slowing down the thoughts and getting out of one’s head.
– Sound and rhythm
Mantras can reduce stress by combining sound, breath, and rhythm. This combination evokes a relaxing quality and allows for your mind to stop wandering and for you to just be still. As a result of the sound vibrations, different patterns of the mind rearrange themselves to become tranquil.
Over time, that vibration sinks deeper and deeper into your consciousness, helping you to eventually feel its presence. A powerful yet subtle force working inside each of us that carries into deeper states of awareness.
3. How to Practice Mantras to Reduce Stress
The best way to learn and improve is through practice and repetition. Whether it’s playing an instrument, learning a new skill like painting or writing, or your job- there are no shortcuts. Success doesn’t happen overnight so utilizing mantras takes practice and patience.
Consistency is key regardless of your chosen mantra. The focus of bringing yourself back to the mantra, again and again, will eventually open the energy of the manta.
It will stop being just words and become living energy that you’ll feel shifting your inner state.
Several traditions suggest staying with one mantra for several months before switching to another, in order to deepen your practice and cultivate a sense of ease, presence, and peace.
The simplest way to start this practice is to just breathe. Breathe is not a mantra, per se, but it is a great starting point to understanding how crucial this exercise can be to your mental health.
This video is a great tool for learning how to breathe and to understand why diaphragmatic breathing is so great for your mental and physical health:
3.3. Calm you down
To use the mantra to reduce stress stop whatever you’re doing and sit in a relaxed position. Start to take slow, deep breaths to calm the body and mind.
Concentrate on keeping the mental chatter at bay. Start to repeat your mantra. When other thoughts and feelings start to enter your mind, just acknowledge that they’re there and return to your mantra. Check in with your thoughts, and then let them go.
See if you can set aside two minutes a day to practice this mental meditation using mantras.
4. How to Use Mantras to Reduce Stress in Daily Executive Life
Using a mantra is easy. Executives have likely found themselves in a high stress or nervous situation and have used their breath or words of affirmation to calm down. Think back to how you felt before you gave a big speech or presentation. Were you nervous? How did you calm yourself down? In this situation, many executives likely choose to take deep, slow and deliberate breaths or, possibly repeat ‘I can do this’ to oneself. This is, in essence, using a mantra to reduce stress!
The power of mantras comes from the sound and vibration of your voice.
The difference between motivational quotes and mantras is that the chanting helps to take you on a spiritual journey where the mind, body and soul become calm.
So, speak or chant your mantra, don’t just think of it!
Here’s how executives can try this out and use mantras to reduce stress:
– In the office: While you’re sitting at your office chair set a timer for two minutes. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, sit up tall, relax your shoulders. Breathe. Breathe deeply for 60 seconds and only concentrate on your breath, nothing else. Then, repeat your mantra for a minute.
You can easily carve out two minutes of your day to improve your mood and productivity while you’re at work! You will improve your stress response and focus on what’s important. You will also feel less stressed and you will calm your body, mind, and soul.
– In daily life: Try using this technique while on your work commute, in the shower, or right when you wake up before you start your day. Put your cellphone away, close your eyes, and repeat your mantra. It’s just two minutes per day!
Now that you’ve learned how to use mantras to reduce stress, try some of the following mantras!
5. 40 Powerful Mantras to Reduce Stress
Now it’s time to take a look at some effective mantras to use to reduce stress!
Before you read through this list just remember that is does not matter what mantra you choose, none are better than the others.
Dr. Herbert Benson and his colleagues also tested many mantras and prayers. They decided that regardless of what the practitioner repeats the word or phrase has nearly the same effect: relaxation and the ability to better cope with life’s unexpected stressors. The beauty of a mantra is that you can set a specific intention according to your needs. Do you need to reduce stress? Calm your mind? Decrease anxiety? Mantras can help!
As executives, these coping mechanisms can greatly improve our attitudes, emotions and even work performance.
Take a look at our list of 40 mantras to reduce stress!
5.1. Mantras to reduce stress
2. One task at a time
3. Steady your nerves
4. I’ve survived all the difficult moments of my past life
5. Steady your reactions
6. Do it your own way
7. Focus on quality, service, and value
8. Be a leader
9. Trust the process
10. A vision is a dream with a plan
11. Progress is a process
12. Trust the path
13. Wherever you are, be all there
5.2. Mantras to promote concentration, calm the mind and decrease anxiety
14. Om (and deep breaths)
15. Let it go
16. With every breath, I feel myself relaxing
17. Be here now
18. Have fun
19. I have control over how I feel, and I choose to feel at peace
20. Don’t major in minor things
21. I give myself permission to let go of what no longer serves me
22. Focus on what’s important
23. Clear the small stuff
5.3. Mantras to encourage self-confidence
24. Look how far I’ve come
25. All experiences are helping me grow and learn
26. This is only a paper tiger
27. Live life to express, not to impress
28. Perfectionism stunts progress
29. Good enough is good enough
30. There is no danger to run out
31. Be not afraid
32. Be confident
33. I will do better next time
34. Failure is normal, success is the ability to go from failure to failure
35. I can and I will
36. More does not mean better
37. Work for a cause, not for applause
38. There is no wrong decision
39. Be brave
40. Your own mantra…
Pick a mantra and use it! Put your mantra everywhere. At the office, at your desk, at home. Put it anywhere so you can glance over at it when you get overwhelmed.
Corporate executives rarely get a chance to relax and unplug. Using mantras can be an effective fix for this. Executives in daily work or personal life can easily use mantras!
By repeating a thought or catchphrase, it gains suggestive strength and energy. This act of repetition can actually help us control stress and anxiety. Using mantras to reduce stress can help executives in stressful work settings and can redirect that energy into productivity and positivity.
Take two minutes each day to practice a mantra meditation and regain mental clarity and calmness!
Do you have any mantras that you use to help reduce stress? Please comment below and let us know!