How do you talk to yourself? Are you supportive, kind, empathetic and compassionate? Do you speak to yourself as you would speak to your best friend or sibling? I’m guessing the answer is "no." Because I know that when I'm feeling low -- when some of my less than lovable qualities come to the fore -- the last thing I do is say, "I love you and accept you completely." Instead, I'm far more likely to start feeling bad about myself.
Sadly, most of us have a lot of negative self-talk going on in our heads. The voices inside our minds aren’t so loving a lot of the time. Negative self-talk can impact our quality of life, lower self-confidence, make us depressed and bitter, heighten stress levels and keep us from reaching our heart’s desires.
For these reasons, we all need to learn how to turn the negative self-talk upside down. We need to create healthier internal habits, so that the way we live our lives reflects our internal state in a positive way. Consider this startling truth: The talk that’s going on inside your head actually shapes your reality.
So, let’s shape it in a really inspiring way using the ancient yogic tool of thought, mantra. However, instead of reciting the traditional Sanskrit words and syllables -- which have a power all to themselves that you can learn more about in Makings of a Mantra: The Basics of Sanskrit's Sacred Syllables & How to Choose Yours -- we'll be using the more familiar English words in these seven "modern" mantras for positive self-talk.
'I am present in each moment.'
Presence is a virtue. Consider how much of your negative self-talk is linked to regrets about the past or worries of the future. If you take a quiet moment, I bet you’ll see just how limiting your self-talk is when you’re not rooted in present moment awareness. By repeating the mantra, “I am present in each moment,” you are becoming fully aware of who and where you are in the here and now. And that’s a powerful way to live.
'My happiness exists right now.'
No, your happiness doesn’t exist in nostalgic thoughts of the “good ol’ days” or on the other side of your “dream” home, the “ideal” partner, the “perfect” career. Your happiness exists right now and it exists inside of you. Your happiness lives in this present moment. When you repeat the mantra, “My happiness exists right now,” over and over again, you actually begin to believe this truth. And you’ll naturally start becoming a happier and more positive person.
'I am exactly where I need to be.'
This is a powerful mantra that’s full of positivity, because at the heart of negative self-talk lies this idea that we should be somewhere else in life, that we haven’t met our goals in time, or fulfilled our dharma quick enough. We also want to be somewhere else, doing something else and sometimes living a life other than the life we’re actually living. This way of thinking is harmful and without spiritual truth. On the other hand, when we repeat the mantra, “I am exactly where I need to be,” we can breathe again and accept ourselves fully for who we are and where we are at this point in our lives.
'I am becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be.'
There’s something so freeing about this mantra. It’s such a positive reminder that life is a journey. Our soul evolution is a process. We are travelling this road called life. We are always becoming. This mantra gets us out of the rut of living in the past. Instead of focusing on how “I used to be like this or that,” it reminds us to live in the now. The now is what creates the next “now.” We look to the present and we look forward, rather than looking to the past.
(In addition to this mantra, here are another 6 Techniques to Staying Present.)
'All is happening to the beat of a divine plan.'
We live in a culture of instant gratification these days. But nature works in a different way. A seed is planted and it takes time to grow. Follow the rhythms of nature and you’ll learn that she walks to a more patient drummer. The divine plan is there. Trust that “all is happening to the beat of a divine plan.” Take action and release attachment to the outcome. Breathe deeply and know that all you seek is seeking you. In due time you will see and experience that.
'I am surrounded by people who love and adore me.'
You get to choose who you let into and out of your life. Because we’re all evolving spiritually, not all relationships will remain forever. At the same time, if you’re evolving faster than say, the on again/off again boyfriend you’ve got in your life, it might be time to move on. For good. You get to surround yourself with those who inspire you and bring you up, rather than down. So, let the good ones into your life and keep the others at arm’s reach. It may be hard, but you are allowed to cut the cords that need to be cut.
'I listen to my inner voice.'
Every time you say this mantra, you’re strengthening your intuition. This builds self-confidence and trust in your higher Self. Repeat this mantra often. Then, when you have a big (or small) decision to make, you can heed advice from within. The bottom line is, you always know best.
Unfolding Positive Change
Wayne Dyer, renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development, once said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This sums up the power of positive self-talk and mantras for self-love. But it takes practice to change old habits and old perspectives, so practice these mantras regularly and see positive changes unfold!
(Continue reading in Gaining the '50,000-Foot View' Perspective.)