When your brain is like a ping pong ball, bouncing from thought to thought, it’s really hard to slow down and focus on just one thing. For many people, this can create an obstacle to meditation.
Practicing mantra meditation can guide beginners who want to get started with meditation, and help people who already meditate get the full benefits from the practice.
Benefits of Meditation
Although meditation has been around for thousands of years, scientists and psychologists are discovering new benefits of meditation every day. Meditation is known for:
- Reducing stress levels
- Managing anxiety
- Increasing self-awareness
- Improving sleep quality
- Lowering high blood pressure
Meditation has also been shown to help fight addictions, reduce chronic pain, and even promote kindness.
About Mantra Meditation
The goal of meditation is to clear your mind of distractions. But if you’ve ever tried meditation, you know that just telling yourself to “clear your mind” can be really difficult.
Mantra meditation gives you something specific to focus on other than just nothingness. You choose a word or phrase, and repeat it in your head, reflecting on its significance to you.
Traditionally, the word “om” was used during mantra meditation. This sound is sacred in many Indian religions, and has spiritual significance. But it’s not the only mantra you can use.
The goal of mantra meditation is to pick something that has meaning for you that you can come back to and use to refocus your mind whenever it starts to wander. This could be:
- The name of someone important to you
- A sound that you find relaxing
- The goal of your meditation session, like “relax” or “slow down”
- A positive affirmation, like “you are strong” or “you can do this”
Start by setting aside just five minutes in your morning or evening to practice mantra meditation. As five minutes of meditation becomes easier, you’ll be able to increase to longer periods of time.
Remember that mantra meditation is all about self-love, and have patience with yourself. It’s normal to find your mind wandering, especially when you’re just getting started. Instead of getting frustrated when that happens, remind yourself that you’re training your brain to slow down, and that it takes practice. Then, set aside the intruding thought and return to your mantra.