Mantras are now having a mainstream moment. But in fact, they are an ancient Hindu technique of repeating words or phrases for meditation that have been around for over 3,000 years. 
These days, mantras come in various forms: quotes, self-affirmations, even songs, uttered to the self in repetition to keep our mind and body focused on the moment and on the energy the words bring. Words, as we speak them aloud, carry vibrations and with it, energy.
When we say mantras out loud, the vibrations become a reality within our beings and our experience. In fact, sound therapy like singing bowls is based on using a specific vibration applied to an area of the body to restore comfort and balance.  Nature in itself is full of sounds — birds chirping, waves washing onto the shore, leaves rustling. When we spend time in nature, our physiology becomes harmonized with the rhythms and energies of nature. This actually gives rise to a whole new body of research called ecotherapy. 
Mantras are also a great way to help cope with fear and anxiety. It’s also a good reminder to ourselves that the only things we can control are our thoughts and our actions; everything else is uncontrollable.
According to Hindu traditions, you should chant your mantras 108 times with the accompaniment of mala beads. This number is derived from the Sun, Moon and Earth: the average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters. It is said that reciting a mantra 108 times can help bring harmony with the vibrations of the universe. 
We picked up Shannon Kaiser’s book Daily Mantras: 365 Days of Motivation over the New Year weekend and in there, there were some shining mantra gems for our well-being. Here are some of our favorites, in our own versions of it — complete with pinnable mantras, if they speak to you:
1. My anxiety is not based on reality.
When you feel anxious, you feel like things are on the verge of going wrong, the life that you want is not happening fast enough and everything may collapse on you at some point and no one will be there to help you.
This feeling of entrapment and anxiety is not real; it comes from your mind — one that’s all but swimming with fear-based thoughts. Anxiety also comes from a place of scarcity; where you feel that there will not be enough for you. This is not true; the world is abundant and it’s up to us to find it.
It’s important to disconnect from those thoughts to gain mental clarity even though that may prove to be a difficult task. Try this mantra daily when you wake in the morning and before bedtime.
Mantra: My anxiety is not real. It is based on fear and I release my feelings of fear and limitations to the universe. It is clarity I seek and I shall find it within me. The universe is full of abundance and I shall explore it. I let go of anxiety and replace it with love.
2. Everything is unfolding the way it is for my own good.
Consider that things don’t happen to you, but for you. This mantra is powerful because it results in a simple but effective switch in perspective: you feel less helpless and less burdened by difficult situations. Even if it does look like the universe is destroying your plans, it could be guiding you closer to what you truly want — in the grand scheme of things. So many times we project our failures in things onto our self, thinking that we must then be a failure for failing. You are bigger than your worst projects — or your worst days.
Mantra: I am right where I need to be. Everything is unfolding the way it is for my own good. Even if it doesn’t work out. Even if my project fails, I am not a failure. My self-worth is not tied to my projects, but to my existence. I trust in my process and I am enough.
3. I get what I focus on.
Sometimes we can spend a lot of time focusing on things that aren’t going well for us, and on situations we actually have no control over. Being stuck in that place of negative emotions is not helpful; instead, you can choose what you want to focus on. By focusing on what you do want, your body and the universe hear you loud and clear: they will conspire to help you achieve your desired outcome and you’ll start to see more abundant opportunities coming your way.
Mantra: I turn my attention to focus on the feeling of what I want. I imagine myself in that ideal situation and experience it with all my senses. I practise being in alignment with my desires and manifest what I want.
4. I release my past so I can be present for my future.
Every day is an opportunity to let go of the past and what no longer serves you. There is no need to dwell in things of the past that have already happened, or past relationships that are not serving you any longer. Some things may not have gone as you have hoped — especially after Covid did a sneak attack on all of us in 2020 — and we were all but scrambling to keep up and keep sane. Trust in your process of growing out of difficult situations and that you are safe. You are ready for new beginnings.
Mantra: I let go of all that no longer serves me, with compassion, humility and forgiveness. I trust that my new beginnings will bring me joy and I step forward with confidence. I release my past so I can be fully present for my future.
5. I am open to live my life in new ways. I am safe and I trust in my process.
2021 may possibly be a continued time of change for you — you may be in the middle of a career transition, a new job, a new life. This time of change represents great growth for you and it is important to focus on your new now instead of holding on to the past. Although things may be uncertain right now, you are safe. As with all changes, there will be closed doors but closed doors will always lead to new opportunities for growth too, because another will open.
Mantra: Although this time of my life is uncertain, I trust the unfolding. I am open and willing to see the silver lining and to living my life in refreshing, new ways. Everything happens for a reason and I am willing to see the big picture in difficult situations. As I move through this transition in my life, I am patient and I trust my process.
If you’re interested to delve deeper into mantras, pick up best-selling author Shannon Kaiser’s Find Your Happy — Daily Mantras: 365 Days of Motivation for a Happy, Peaceful and Fulfilling Life. Now go kick ass!
 Parthasarathi S. K. (2020). Ancient Science of Mantras – Wisdom of the Sages. International Journal of Yoga, 13(1), 84–86. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_81_19
 Goldsby, T. L., Goldsby, M. E., McWalters, M., & Mills, P. J. (2017). Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being: An Observational Study. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 22(3), 401–406. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587216668109
 Harvard Health Publishing (2020). Sour mood getting you down? Get back to nature. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/sour-mood-getting-you-down-get-back-to-nature
 Times of India (2020). Know why mantras are chanted 108 times. Retrieved from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/astrology/mantras-chants/know-why-are-mantras-chanted-108-times/articleshow/75154534.cms
Jolene lives for avo toasts, yoga and is a little more OCD than she cares to admit. She never fails to start her day with morning coffee and is very partial to flat whites. She is obsessed with interiors and homeware, and is currently taking her RYT 200h yoga teacher training course as an aspiring ashtangi.