Have you noticed how some days are easier to get through than others?
Or is it just me?
Often now, or even most of the time, my day sails by with wonderful events. I’m positive, upbeat, eager to see what comes next.
But then, other times I feel like I’m slogging through the muck and the mire.
You know those times—when you get to do everything twice. Or little irritants come bite you on the butt, gobbling up your joy along with that requisite pound of flesh.
Yep, a bit dramatic. But it can sure feel that way, no?
I’m not a big fan of those days. I like the smiley-faced ones lots better.
What I know for true though is that my reaction to said events is what’s going to determine if I stay in the monster-filled doldrums, or get back to smiling with joy.
Easier said than done, at times.
But check this out: We can change our moods by what we hold in our minds.
Sages of all ilk have been telling us this, from the Buddha to the Bible, and within all spiritual disciplines since. We have so much anecdotal evidence (I bet you have your own as well) that discounting it doesn’t make much sense.
And one of the best ways I know to affect this is by using a daily mantra.
SO many studies have proven this. I’m always just tweaked when science proves the validity of a spiritual tenant. That old left brain/right brain connection runs strong J
But a relatively new study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in PLOS ONE, actually provides the first evidence that positive mantras (okay, they called them self-affirmations) protect against the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance.
Who can beat that. And it’s sure cheaper than oral medications. Not to mention—better for our bodies.
Taking this even further, the science of Neuroplasticity is now widely accepted as scientists are proving the brain is infinitely adaptable and dynamic.
They found that the brain actually has the power to change its own structure.
And even people with strokes, cerebral palsy, and mental illnesses can train other areas of their brains through repetitive mental and physical activities.
Talk about totally life-altering.
What this means as far as a daily mantra is concerned is that through repetitive positive thought, you can rewire your brain and bolster those brain areas that stimulate positive thinking.
Maybe the Buddha was onto something all those millennia back. As was the writer of Proverbs . . .
Norman Doidge, M.D., covers this in depth in his widely acclaimed book, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Doidge states that the brain has the capacity to rewire itself and/or form new neural pathways.
The caveat: You have to do the work.
Just like exercise, this work demands repetition and action to reinforce new learning.
But the kicker? If you do it, it will work.
Funny enough, this functions in reverse as well. You know all that negative self-talk? Well, that, too, is operating overtime to bring you what you’re focused upon.
We’re actually proving this in our lives every single day.
So if we know that for true, why not focus on positive mantras?
One of the ones I use often is: Everything is working out for me.
And you know, it actually is and does. Even in the midst of perceived insanity or failure, when I say this (and now I’ve come to know it), the blessing shows up quicker and quicker these days.
Another one I use often (not enough!) is: Something wonderful is going to happen to me today. Or, something magickal (depending upon my mindset). And that happens as well.
But the most important part of all of this is how it affects my mood.
Isn’t it just so much more fun and rewarding to skip through the day with tons of energy and smiles and joy and eagerness for what’s to come?
When I do that, great things happen.
What positive self-talk, affirmations, mantras do you use? I’d love to hear your findings!
Award-winning writer and editor Susan Mary Malone is the author of the novels, "I Just Came Here to Dance" and "By the Book," as well as four co-authored nonfiction books, including "What’s Wrong with My Family?" and many published short stories. Forty-plus Malone-edited books have now sold to traditional publishers.