There is something truly calming about repetitive tasks that harmonises our thoughts and emotions. This property of repetition can be put to good use in relieving stress. This was discovered much earlier by the Indian Yogis, who employed it in their meditation. Yes, the whole process of Mantra meditation came into being to help organise their thoughts and focus it on the divine.
Chanting mantras in meditation is the simplest and the most easy technique that can be perfected. Other methods of meditation take some time to get into effect, but Mantra meditation gets right down to the job. A single session can be a transformative experience as you can feel your emotions calming down visibly. Long term practise can actually be a life changing stress relieving exercise.
And it has the benefit of being simple to learn and customize to meet your specific needs for stress management.
Benefits of Mantra Meditations:
There is no doubt about the practical applications and benefits of meditation in general. When it comes to stress relief, mediation is the chief contender to other medical alternatives. It is without side effects and relatively time saving.
Meditation has been proven to have a direct physiological effect on our immunity, organs like the heart and relieves chronic stress. It does this by alleviating the root causes of the stress. Say your stress stems from being short tempered keeping you angry all the time, then meditation lowers your anger levels.
Mantra meditation helps us understand the way our own mind works. We harbour so much resentment and hurt from incidents that happened so long ago. Chanting mantras pulls our mind back to the present and focuses on the task at hand. All disruptive thoughts are cast aside and clarity sets in.
It enables us to question ourselves as to why we think a certain way. It simplifies our emotions so that we can process whether the same is required then. We would solve the issues with our intellect rather than our emotions.
Repetitive chanting takes our mind off the problems around us. Dissociation is an important tool in creating empathetic solutions. Being immersed in the problems, will cloud our judgement. The minute you take your mind away from it, you can solve it from a different perspective.
This form of meditation soothes the nervous system. The neural network runs throughout our body, controlling our bodily functions and communications between the organs. Mantra meditation activates the Para-Sympathetic Nervous system that brings our body and mind into a relaxed state.
Daily practise of this means we set aside some quiet Me Time for ourselves. The very habit of making time for the self is a healthy sign of personal growth. Our schedules can overwhelm us, but these few minutes of chanting can help us dig up the mental and physical energy to get through it methodically.
It is ideal for a quick emotional fix. When we feel our emotions about to burst out, repeating our favourite mantra a few times will help us keep them in check.
The best part of Mantra meditation is that it can be custom fit to the individual and the scenario. You can make up your mantras on the go that are most relevant to the stress causing factors.
How to do Mantra Meditation
Like we mentioned earlier Mantra meditation is one of the easiest methods to master. It is highly recommended for people who are novices at yogic meditation. Here are simple steps to follow to get the art of mantra meditation right.
Select a quiet spot at home that is free from noise. Inform others with you that you are not to be disturbed unless it is an emergency. With more and more practise you can harness the state of mind with any amount of distraction. But for now it is best to start off with a quiet ambiance.
Set aside the same time for meditation every day so that it becomes an integral part of your routine. You can also do it as and when necessary, but start off with a schedule. Practising it early in the morning, gives a good fresh start to the day.
Choose a mantra of Choice. The simplest and most powerful is the cosmic vibration of “OM”. It has profound spiritual power in addition to being a fount of positive energy. It is important to choose a mantra you are comfortable with. Some people choose meaningful phrases to boost the appropriate emotional responses.
e.g: An agitated person would be able to calm down just by repeating – I’ am <Name> and I feel calm. The repetition of the phrase reinforces the emotion in our brain. More than the Mantra itself, it is the intention behind the phrase that does the job.
Seat yourself in a comfortable position and close your eyes. If your body cooperates, Padmasana is the best yogic posture for any type of meditation. It activates all the Chakras and gives additional clarity to focus on the Mantra.
Start chanting the Mantra slowly either in a whisper or even in your head. The sound of your own voice should not be jarring enough to disrupt your focus. If you feel that your chanting may disturb others, it is better to chant it in your head. Focus on simply chanting the words and all other thoughts will slip away.
Keep repeating the mantra for several minutes. Novices can start with 5-10 minute sessions. Slowly increase the time in 2-3 minute intervals to bring it up to half an hour at least. There is no ideal fixed time period to practise this meditation.
There will be the initial struggle to willingly follow it at least once a day, but don’t lose heart if you fail to stick to the schedule. Keep trying again and again, to make it into a habit that you cannot do without. You can incorporate it into your schedule at any time, even combining it with other exercises if you are comfortable doing so. The time required is very less and the benefits are huge. Surely when we do so much for the people we love, we can spare a few minutes for ourselves too.