Pay attention to how you talk to yourself.
Take the next 48 hours and observe what you say to yourself. Is your self-talk loving and supportive, or is it harsh and critical? Maybe it depends on the circumstances, but take time to notice what’s happening, because unchecked negative thoughts about yourself are damaging. Bringing awareness to your thoughts creates opportunity to stop the thought, check it for accuracy, and change it.
Your self-talk is your mantra. The word mantra translates to mind-wave. Think of your self-talk as the vibration moving like a wave through your body and mind throughout your day. This vibration affects and influences you and those around you.
Changing your self-talk starts with awareness. With awareness, you can choose how you want to vibrate. Because habit often trumps willpower, it doesn’t feel like a choice for most people. There’s a powerful yogic tool to help you with that: mantra. It’s a technology that recodes over negative self talk.
Here are 3 ways to recode your negative self-talk with mantra:
1. Decide that the mind serves you, not the other way around. When you hear negative self-talk, tell yourself “stop it” and flip it around with a new mantra. It can be a counterstatement, or you can use a high vibration sound like Sat Nam (rhymes with “but mom”).
A counterstatement is taking your negative thought and turning it into a supportive one. For example, you’re at work and your boss schedules an impromptu meeting with you. If your first thought is - OMG, I’m going to get fired, I knew I wasn’t doing my job well, she found out what a fraud I am! Stop, and turn it around. A counterstatement might be - I’m curious what she wants to talk about today, I’m a competent professional doing my best. Even if you don’t immediately believe that statement, continue to repeat it to yourself. Believe it or not, you didn’t believe your negative thoughts at first either. The repetition made them real to you.
An alternative approach is to use the yogic sound, Sat Nam. Sat Nam is a seed mantra that connects you with your truth. The more you seed it, the more it grows. Try coordinating the sound with your breath: slowly inhale as you mentally hear Saaaaat, and slowly exhale as you hear Naaaaaam and continue this for 1-3 minutes or as long as you need. When life is stressful, this is an excellent practice for shutting down negative thoughts and shifting your focus and vibration.
2. Infuse mantra into your life as a preventative/supportive measure. There is so much beautiful mantra music available. Here are some favorites. Play mantra music while you’re walking, driving, or cooking. You can even play it quietly as you work or loudly as you clean. As you listen, imagine the uplifting sound vibrations enveloping you in love, peace and joy. Know that you're creating subtle yet powerful shifts inside of you.
3. Include mantra in your daily yoga & meditation practice. In Kundalini Yoga, we use mantra in many ways. For example, Sat Kriya is a meditative exercise that uses the mantra Sat Nam. You can practice this daily for 3 to 11 minutes to strengthen your nervous system and help you recode your negative self talk. Click here to create your free account and access the video tutorial. You’ll find additional bonuses with more on mantra and other supportive practices.