This week on The Plus Factor, we’re taking a look at successful starts of the day—and how a morning mantra can help you wake up on the right side of the bed.
Ask any successful person about their morning routines, and you start to see some similarities. Their morning habits tend to include small yet powerful rituals that set them up to tackle the day with optimism, creativity and energy—activities like having a balanced breakfast that includes a must-have morning juice, as well as getting some exercise and skimming the day’s headlines.
But there’s a new and unexpectedly effective morning routine that’s been getting a lot of traction with the cool kids of wellness: Repeating mantras (phrases or affirmations) to themselves at the start of the day. “A mantra is a word, prayer, or sound vibration that’s repeated to create a state of concentration, consciousness, and connection,” says LA-based empowerment coach Kelsey Patel. “I create power mantras for a lot of my clients that I ask them to repeat and practice every morning.” She says the activity helps them feel confident and stay focused and connected throughout the day.
“[A morning mantra] can change how you feel about yourself, which is the most important thing to be able to change.”
Mantras seem to be everywhere these days—you can find them all over hip T-shirts, social media, and even graffiti-covered NYC walls. And they’re not just Instagram gold: Having a key phrase that empowers you can provide you with benefits for your body, mind and spirit. “It can change how you feel about yourself, which is the most important thing to be able to change,” says Desiree Pais, a meditation guide and the natural beauty alchemist behind the buzzy brand Benshen.
And starting your a.m. with a go-to phrase can have a positive effect on the rest of your day—even if you’re not a morning person. “It helps you redirect your mind to something more positive and energizing,” Pais says. Experts also say that starting your day with a few quiet moments, when you’re fully disconnected, is important for your health and productivity.
And research backs this up. People who silently repeated a word or phrase lowered their levels of anger, stress, and anxiety in a recent study. “Mantras also help you focus on what you want to create for that day,” says Karol Ward, a confidence expert. “And you can take a few minutes to return to your morning mantra when you need it any time of the day.” Think of it as the wellness boost that keeps on boosting.
Patel stresses the importance of doing this practice first thing in the am: “When you take time to awaken your highest self every morning and allow that consciousness to drive your decision, actions, and conversation then you’ll likely feel more on top of your day.”
Scroll down for expert advice on how to create your perfect morning mantra.
Check in with yourself
The first step is to simply do a life check-in. “Notice how you are currently feeling in mind, body and spirit,” Patel says. She suggests focusing on an area of your body that feels like it needs extra love and attention—the sensation may manifest itself as a part of yourself that you’ve been ignoring or suppressing. “Allow it to be heard and felt,” she adds.
Consider what you need to hear
After you check in with your feelings, start to consider what you need to hear right now, at this moment in your life. Ward says to think about the phrases that will help you create a comforting state of mind and empower the rest of your day. “Just let them come to mind without overthinking it,” she says.
Focus on your network of support
If you’re struggling with coming up with a mantra, think about what a good friend might say to you about your personal qualities. “Maybe your best thing thinks you are a kind person or that you’re super funny or nice,” Ward says. Then your mantra could be something along the lines of ‘I’m a kind and loving person,’ or ‘My humor helps others to have a good day.’ Each of these phrases bring awareness to how you want to be in the world,” she says.
If all else fails, borrow one
If you’re really having a hard time coming up with the perfect morning mantra, don’t let it stress you out. This process should make your day better, not bum you out. “If creating your own mantra is too much right now, take a look a look at the different mantras that are out there and choose one that you relate to at this time,” Ward says. Look for inspiring memes on Instagram, song lyrics, or think of a popular motto that really speaks to you. “Sometimes another person’s words can help you feel more grounded, and inspired.”
Top photo: Stocksy