This year we urge you to take a different approach to the resolution. Rather than strive for a physical goal put your brain to work by coming up with a New Year’s mantra. A mantra, if you are unfamiliar with the term, comes from “man” meaning mind and “tra” meaning “instrument” – a mantra is an “instrument of the mind.” (Source: Huffington Post) It is a personal slogan or motto that is said repeatedly.
By changing the way you think– you might find that many aspects of your overall health will be impacted positively.
Examples of Some Mantras You Might Consider
- Practice forgiveness, starting with yourself – regrets do not help anyone, they loom over your life and are heavy to carry; let them go, forgive yourself and except that you cannot turn back time.
- Be kind, even when you want to be right – it can be easy to let your ego take over and get caught up in meaningless, unhelpful arguments. Instead of putting your energy towards something that is no good to anyone involved, practice being kind.
- Meditate everyday – five minutes here, ten minutes there of practicing to quiet your mind, and letting yourself be still in a world that is always moving can go a long way in reducing stress and giving you a healthy perspective.
- Judge and criticize no one, not even yourself – stop second-guessing yourself and put a cap on the self-judgment. If you catch yourself judging those around you or yourself, recognize it – that is the first step to diminishing it.
- Practice acceptance –if you find yourself in a troubling situation ask yourself if there is anything you can do to change the situation at hand, or if it is possible to remove yourself. If not, then accept it – it is the only way to end your suffering.
- Be present – this is a huge one in our current world, always attached to our smart phones. Put the phone down, put your worries or to-do lists into the back of your mind and look around you. Take in the sights and sounds of your life. You will be amazed at what you see.
- Find something in each day to be thankful for – appreciating even the littlest blessings of your day can help change even the worst of days into a positive. It forces you to focus on the good, rather than the bad.
- Be realistic – it is taxing and overwhelming to think in one day you can accomplish cleaning your house, taking care of your children, doing the grocery shopping, cooking extravagant meals, and tackling whatever projects are thrown your way. No one is perfect. Allow yourself to see it, accept it, and embrace it. Focus on what is important and let the other things wait.
- Love your body – there is nothing positive that comes from putting yourself down. Make a point at looking in the mirror each morning and tell yourself “you are beautiful” – because you are.
- Yell less, smile more – practice calmness in the home, in your life, with your families. Allow yourself to lighten up a bit. It is ok.
There are hundreds of mantras, or intentions – as many yogis call them, each one unique to the individual. Whatever you decide is best for you, try to stick to one thing that you will repeat to yourself each day. You are more likely to succeed by focusing on one main point rather than a long list. Go easy on yourself, and make 2017 a good one.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.