Around this time of the year, you may find yourself wanting to add some enriching, meaningful activities to your daily life so that you can take your recovery to an entirely new level. This upcoming year holds so much hope – for many, it’s like a clean slate. As you reflect on 2018, we hope you recognize the lessons you’ve learned and the many ways you’ve grown. Now is a chance for you to look upon the new year as a year of opportunity, growth and love. Our perception is what shapes our reality, and, with the right mindset, you’ll become stronger than ever in your recovery this upcoming year.

What Are Mantras?

Mantras have been around for over thousands of years and have become a staple in holistic addiction recovery as they promote health and wellbeing. Mantras are essentially words, phrases or hymns that are said multiple times to evoke a positive mindset towards something. Mind Body Green, a website that provides information on mindfulness, health, food, movement, beauty, parenting and more, explains that mantras are much like affirmations – by saying what it is we’re wanting to work towards out loud, we’re putting that message into our subconscious – which further helps us to shift some of the negative habits that were previously blocking us from reaching that goal.

A 2018 study published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine confirmed that mantras enhance a person’s health and wellbeing – but why is this?

The reasons could be different dependent on the person, but a likely cause is because it helps people focus on what matters to them. Malia, a 40-year-old woman who struggled with negative thoughts, told the Yoga Journal that mantra meditation inspired her recovery by experiencing a shift in how she was feeling. She stated, “[As a twenty-something] …it was like I was falling down this pit…What appeared like a small speck of light – a little spot of relief – grew and grew with every recitation of that mantra.”

Malia recognized through mantra meditation that all of the negative thoughts that were holding her back were just thoughts – and nothing more. “In short, mantra gave me the will to live again.”

Mantras for Your Upcoming Year in Recovery

You can use mantras in one of two ways – you can either say them out loud and gently at any time that suits you, or you can engage in a formal meditation practice where you sit in a comfortable position in a quiet place, without light or sensory overstimulation. You first want to consider what your intentions are. Are you wanting to strengthen your spiritual connection this year? Are you planning on maintaining – or regaining – your health? Are you determined to identify your triggers and take greater strides towards relapse prevention? Whatever your wish for the upcoming year is, you want to channel this in through the mantras that you use. Here are some examples:

Strengthening your spiritual connection

  •       “May my practice connect me with God or another Higher Power.”
  •       “May this year lead me to a spiritual awakening.”
  •       “May this year fill me with patience and gratitude.”

Maintaining health

  •       “Every journey begins with a single step.”
  •       “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
  •       “I am kind to myself.”

Becoming stronger in relapse prevention

  •       “With wisdom, I will remove the obstacles that appear on my path.”
  •       “One day at a time.”
  •       “I am becoming stronger in my recovery through each passing day.”

Mantras do not only have to be spoken; they can be listened to, hummed, chanted, or performed as a mental practice. This is the beauty of meditation, because it allows you to find what works best for you in the moment. As you continue to practice using mantras, you will find that many of them uplift, inspire, and brighten your day. This is because you’ve already confirmed, out loud, of what your mindset is going to be – and so your mind has now shifted to see the world with the lens that you’ve given it.

The Benefits of Mantras

According to Buddha Weekly, notes that even people who are skeptical of the efficacy of mantras should use them. Some recovery leaders suggest that reciting mantras – even if you don’t have faith that they will work – still sends out that positive intention in to the universe, and can still have transformative, healing effects. Put simply, mantras give us the mental and spiritual energy (the internal strength) that we need to carry out our goals.

The EOC Institute confirms the many physical and mental benefits that can be experienced from using mantras, such as stress relief, regulated heart rate, enhanced brainwaves, increased immune level functioning, lowered blood pressure, improved management of thoughts, ease of fear and more. Mantras not only uplift our highest hopes and dreams, but they also tend to drown out the negative thoughts that keep us down. This year, shower yourself with love and kindness through the use of mantras.

This is the year to change your life from suffering due to the disease of addiction to thriving in the sunlight of the spirit of sobriety. As the world’s first 12-Step treatment center, established in 1939, High Watch Recovery is dedicated to educating patients on 12-Step principles, actions, philosophies, and lifestyles, preparing them to live a happy and healthy sober life after graduating. For information on our continuum of clinical care and our compassionate approach to treatment, call us today: 860.927.3772.