You may have read that affirmations can lead you down the path of healing yet repeating ‘I am beautiful’ or ‘I am enough’ aloud might feel really alien.
Only by understanding the power of mantras can we recognise their worth.
The real value in why they are important lies with how they can reprogramme your subconscious mind, which can in turn change your thought process and consequently redirect your life.
Hindu priest Dandapāni is a guru when it comes to mantras and explained that they work due to the repetition of sound influencing personal behaviour.
While that might seem too good to be true, it is because hearing something over and over again lays roots in our unconscious mind that ordinarily remains unreachable in day-to-day thinking.
Although it is hard to quantify, it is believed that up to 95% of our mental activity takes place in the subconscious, situated below our conscious awareness.
Just like an iceberg, this ‘underwater’ portion of the mind is never seen but always active.
For example, each time you go out, you will pass hundreds of billboards on your journey. Your subconscious mind soaks up the messages on these adverts like a sponge, as your conscious mind focuses on other activities such as meeting friends, getting on the bus, or buying a coffee.
Without thinking critically about these ads for bikinis or makeup or other beauty products, messages about having to look a certain way slip into the unconscious without a thought.
Fast-forward to future you, and you are left feeling insecure or unattractive, wondering why or how your self-esteem got so low.
It was psychoanalyst Carl Jung that first drew attention to the importance of staying aware to what is going on in the ‘underwater’ parts of the mind, saying, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Dandapāni supports this claim and this is exactly what he practices with mantra beads.
Speaking about his quest, Dandapāni told London Real: “As we chant on each bead, we chant an affirmation, ‘I am happy or I’m confident’.
“We repeat the same chant over and over again, and there are 108 beads. We use concise choice of positive words, clear visualisation, and a corresponding feeling.”
It is this holy grail of sound, visualisation and emotion that is said to override the subconscious mind and plant the seeds of positive change consciously.
Fellow humanitarian, Christina Sarich, perhaps said it best when she explained that mantra is a grouping of sounds and vibrations which affect the mental and physiological planes.
Christina said: “The effects of sound on the brain have been demonstrated in Electro Encephala Graph (EEG) charts as well as by documented physical changes, such as heart rate.
“While we may consciously want to remove certain thought patterns, they can be difficult to dislodge because they are formed at subconscious levels. This is where mantra is effective.”
Might be time we bought some mantra beads…