Words to Live By: How to Identify and Apply Your Own Go-To Personal Mantra

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If you’re anything like me, you have a running mental to-do list that seems to grow with each day. From work demands to dealing with emotional labor — all of this noisy chatter can make it hard to find your inner calm. That’s why creating a personal mantra can come in handy.

The word mantra is derived from Sanskrit and is often used in meditation to quiet the loud thoughts. The gist of the practice involves evoking these sounds to defeat negative self-talk and create a deeper meditative state that brings peace to both body and mind. But we don’t have to spend all our time in the lotus position to reap the benefits of positive affirmation.

Nely Galan Belatina¡Adelante!: Cómo ser emprendedora y autosuficiente para alcanzar una vida rica y realizada (Spanish Edition) or Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every WayCreating a go-to personal mantra empowers us to focus on our goals and give ourselves a small pep-talk when we need it the most. For example, I often use a favorite quote by C.S. Lewis anytime I’m feeling timid: Courage, dear heart.

Maybe you have a beloved phrase you’d like to adopt or would like to discover your own. Here are a few steps for identifying and applying a personal mantra:

Write Down Your Biggest Accomplishments

Take a moment to think back to your three greatest achievements this past year — what stands out? You can include your proudest career moments or personal successes (like starting a budget and sticking with it). What are the feelings and thoughts that come to mind?

Jot Down Key Words

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During your brainstorming, think of the values you associate with each accomplishment and write down a word that represents each feeling. Try to keep these short and sweet, for example, words like: persistence, joy, or inspiration.

Put it All Together

After finding and condensing your keywords, you can begin crafting your mantra. Remember: you don’t have to share it with anyone else, so it can be as uplifting and earnest as you like. One test to know that it’s the right phrase is that it will give you instant comfort when saying it aloud.

Use Your Mantra Daily

Fun Sticky Notes Belatina Mantra

Leinuosen 12 Pads Sticky Notes Set, Colorful Self Sticky Notes in Different Shapes, Creative Self-Stick Notes, 3 x 3 Inch, 100 Pieces/PadI’ve written mine down on sticky notes and on the notes app on my phone so that I can find it easily. Try repeating your own motto before an important meeting or when driving back home. The point is for this positive affirmation to inject some much-needed confidence and calm into your day.