What is a Mantra and Why Are They Important?

A mantra, otherwise known as an affirmation is a positive statement we say to ourselves to encourage ourselves towards a certain behaviour. For instance, if you are doing a difficult workout you could say to yourself, ‘I am creating the body I want,’ instead of, ‘This is so hard – it’s such a chore!’ If you are feeling nervous before an event, you may say, ‘I know I can handle this,’ rather than ‘I am terrified!’ People who practise yoga use mantras to help them breathe and focus on a quality they want to embody such as ‘peace’ or ‘love.’

Why use Mantras/Affirmations?

If others needed our help, we would speak to them with words of encouragement. However, our inner voice is often one of negativity – we can be really hard on ourselves! We say things like, ‘I’ll never be able to do this,’ or ‘I’m so stupid – I can’t believe I did that!’ Affirmations are a powerful way of helping yourself by treating yourself with kindness and support

When done consistently, mantras can completely change your mindset and can help you and your children become happier, more positive and more confident. When used in learning, they help to develop a growth mindset. For instance, instead of saying to yourself, ‘I can’t  do this!’ try saying, I can’t do this YET but I will,’ or ‘I’m getting better and better.’ By telling yourself positive things, you are stopping that subconscious negative babble that we often slip into and speaking consciously to yourself from your heart.

Give Your Child a Gift

Mantras can be really useful to help children at school and at home. They change their internal dialogue. If children learn to think in a positive way now and talk to themselves in a supportive manner, this will become entrenched – a habit they can draw upon for the rest of their lives.

In my next blog, I will share some affirmations you can use to help your child become more willing to persevere at a task.

Angela Lyons – Co-founder of Cape Ability

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