10 Powerful Self-Love Mantras & Positive Affirmations
Who do you spend the most time with? Your spouse or best friend? Your children or your co-workers? Technically neither, you spend the most time with yourself, which is why the tone and content of your internal dialogue are incredibly important to how you feel about yourself.
For instance, if you do poorly on an exam or a performance review, there are different ways you can talk to yourself about the situation. One reaction would be to say to yourself, “I am such an idiot. I am not smart enough to succeed.” Another way to respond is to say to yourself, “I am smart. I will figure out how to overcome this setback and do better next time.”
The first is an example of negative self-talk, which has been proven to negatively impact the end-result of the task you failed at that holds some significance in your life. Conversely, the person in the second example is more likely to do better next time, because they didn’t let it define how they view their true self. They were able to separate the obstacle from their own self-worth.
Another time this is prevalent is after a break-up or falling out with a friend. After being rejected by a loved one, it can be all too easy to forget that just because one person doesn’t feel you are a match for them, it doesn’t lessen your self-worth. In both of these instances, self-love mantras can be used to replace negative thoughts and rebuild your self-confidence.
What is a Mantra?
Mantras are a part of the Hindu and Buddhism religions. According to Merriam-Webster, a mantra is “a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs.” It originally comes from two Sanskrit words: “man,” meaning mind; and “tra,” meaning vehicle or instrument – a tool to transport the mind from a state of activity to one of stillness and silence. Mantras are often associated with praying or meditating so they’re best suited for positive self-talk.
10 Powerful Mantras for Self-Love
1. I love myself.
I am a beautiful, unique spirit. There is no one else quite like me.
2. I am worthy of love.
As a creature on this earth, I am worthy of being loved and cherished by others. My worth is untarnished by my imperfections or the way others see me.
3. I am worthy of good things.
It is ok to want the best for myself and to pursue the things that bring me joy and happiness.
4. I can choose positive thoughts.
I understand the power of my self-talk and choose to select thoughts that are uplifting and positive.
5. I let my happiness be visible to others.
My happiness overflows from me. I can use my happiness to bring joy to others.
6. I am strong.
I have many strengths that I use to navigate the ups and downs of my life. I am tougher and braver than I look.
7. I am becoming.
I am becoming the person I want to be. Each day, I work to make myself more the person I want to be.
8. My life is moving forward perfectly.
Each bump in the road is there for a reason. Everything is happening according to a greater plan.
9. I am confident in my decisions.
I am the creator of my own destiny. I stand behind the things I do and say.
10. I surround myself with loving people.
I can choose the people I allow in my life. I choose to surround myself with people who love and adore me.
For the next few weeks, pick one self-loving mantra and try to incorporate it into your daily life – one at a time for a full week. Of course, if you don’t feel like that one is providing you any benefits, feel free to switch it up. You will find that some mantras are more fitting to your needs and personality, as your internal dialogue is unique to you. If you find something that works for you, it should only be a matter of days before you start feeling more confident and loved.
Mantras and meditation
When meditating, a mantra is a great tool to deter one’s mind’s natural tendency to wander off. Mantras are also useful when practicing yoga. Picking a mantra at the beginning of class can help you keep your focus on your set intention for that particular class.
If you are new to meditating, you should find the type of meditation that is best for you, as there are all sorts of meditations based on your own likes and dislikes. For instance, many people don’t realize that there is a type of meditation called movement meditation, which is good for beginner yogis who struggle to sit still.
Finding Your Perfect Self-Loving Mantras
A mantra can go beyond a phrase to keep you focused on the positive and give you spiritual strength; a mantra has the power to affect your actions. For instance, when Mahatma Gandhi said, “be the change you wish to see in the word,” he didn’t just say it, he lived it. What is the mantra you want to live? Is it a positive, self-loving mantra?
One easy way to get started is by incorporating some Loving Kindness Meditation into your daily routine with this mantra meditation video, which takes you step-by-step through the process of adding a mantra into your meditation. All you need is 20 minutes to get started.
Self-care mantras can come from all sorts of unpredictable places. One of my favorite mantras, that I use whenever I’m not feeling grounded, comes from the Dr. Seuss book I received upon graduating from high school, which reads, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” During times of uncertainty, I let these clever childhood sayings take over my internal dialogue.
This is all to say that your perfect mantras can come from anywhere. Perhaps for you, it will be something a loved one once told you or a poignant song lyric. You just have to be on the look-out for a word or phrase that makes you feel whole and loved, that brings you joy and encouragement.
We all have a friend or family member that lets their negative self-talk overpower their positivity and self-loving thoughts. It is so painful to watch them beat themselves up, but we all do it from time to time. If ever you feel yourself being anything less than kind to yourself, try one of these self-loving mantras to regain confidence and move forward in a positive way. You can focus on the first phrase, memorize the entire thought, or modify one of the positive mantras provided.
How to Use Mudras to Regulate the Five Elements of Your Body
Many cultures from around the world, including those based in China, Japan, India, and elsewhere, believe the Universe is comprised of specific elements. You are likely familiar with the four most common elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Some traditions, including Indian philosophy, Hinduism and Buddhism, add ether or space as the fifth element. According to these groups, humans are tasked with keeping these elements in alignment in the Universe, on earth, and within ourselves.
- Earth, or bhumi in Sanskrit, corresponds to anything solid. For instance, in your body earth elements include skin, bone,hair, teeth and organs.
- Air, or pavan in Sanskrit, is believed to be the highest of all the elements. Within the body, your breath is the air element.
- Fire, or agni in Sanskrit, serves as a source of warmth. The heat from our breath and other parts of our body correspond to this element.
- Water, or jala in Sanskrit, is critical to the survival of all living things and as such is one of the most important elements to keep in balance. All of the liquids in our bodies stem from this element.
- The great unifier of the elements is Ether, known as aakash in Sanskrit. Ether is thought to bring the other four elements together and allow them to prosper.
It is thought by some that the imbalance of these elements on Earth can cause natural disasters from drought to earthquakes to wildfires. Similarly, the belief is that if these elements are misaligned within a human body, this can lead to disease and other ailments. For the treatment of imbalance within oneself, performing specific mudras are often recommended.
Before you begin to diagnose which elements might be weak or imbalanced, try to identify which element is your greatest strength. For example, I am a Leo, which means my element is fire. Knowing this can direct me towards my area of strength and power. What is your element?
What are Mudras?
From the Sanskrit word mudra, mudras are symbolic hand gestures used in Hindu or Buddhist religious ceremonies and in the practice of yoga. Occasionally these gestures are done with the whole body, but more often they are focused on the hand. While I will be focusing on the mudras from the Buddhist and Hindu religions, you can find mudras in almost every culture. They can be found in meditation, yoga, the hand gestures in ethnic dancing – think Indian or Flamenco.
My preference is to practice madras while sitting in a cross-legged position on the floor with plenty of back support. However, they can be practiced while sitting, lying, standing, walking or even talking. Moreover, you only need five minutes to practice your mudras, but for best results upwards of twenty minutes is suggested. Which means you have no excuse not to give one a try!
For me, the practice of mudras is meditation with specific hand movements. For those of you that struggle with meditation, this practice is a good gateway into more formal meditation. You sit relatively still and allow our mind to slow, but you can keep your mind somewhat active as your focus on the hand gestures. This is especially good for mudras that have your alternate between different positions.
If you already have a regular meditation practice, you may already be using a mudra and not realize it. For instance, if you meditate by sitting in a cross legged position with your thumb and index finger connected so they form a zero and your other fingers extended and your hands placed palms-up on your thighs, then you are performing a classic Chin Mudra. This mudra focuses on your breathing. By sitting and holding your hands in this way you are activating your diaphragm and creating a healthy flow of oxygen in and out of your body.
The Basics of Mudras and the Five Elements
- Mudras for the earth element will include your ring finger
- Mudras for the air element will incorporate your index finger
- Mudras for the fire element will include your thumb
- Mudras for the water element will incorporate your pinky or little finger
- Mudras for the ether element will focus on your middle finger
Mudra for Balancing Energy
A good place to start when diving into mudras for element alignment is this mudra for balancing energy. It incorporates each of the five elements by including each finger in the process.
If you are feeling “off” and are looking for a quick fix that you can do from anywhere, this is it. You can even take five minutes at your desk to perform this mudras during the day or take a few minutes before going to bed at night.
It is a set of four mudras or hand gestures. First, on both hands simultaneously, touch the tips of your thumb and index finger together and hold for approximately five seconds. Then, move your thumb to your middle finger and hold that connection. Continue to your ring finger and lastly your pinky. Do several rounds of this until your breathing has slowed and you are ready to return to your day or drift off to sleep.
Mudra for Arthritis or Parkinson’s
Simply called Vayu, this mudra is recommended for those suffering from arthritis or Parkinson’s Disease. This is not a cure, but might help in addition to your other treatments and medications. Press the index finger on the base of thumb and keep the thumb on the index finger. Let the other fingers be straight. Do this for several minutes.
Mudra for Increased Strength
Named the Prithvi Mudra, this simple gesture aims at increasing your physical strength. Join the tip of the thumb and ring finger and hold for several minutes. Your other fingers should be pointing outwards.
Mudras for Balancing Emotions
These mudras are aimed at helping adjust an emotion that is overwhelming you in some way. Notice that each finger corresponds not only to an element, as discussed above, but also to emotions and internal aspects of your body. In order to affect either the emotion or body part, squeeze the corresponding finger on both sides.
- For emotions relating to fear or issues related to the kidneys, activate your little or pinky finger
- For emotions relating to anger or issues connected to the liver, gall bladder, or central nervous system, activate your ring finger
- For dealing with the emotion of impatience or the heart, small intestine, circulatory and respiratory systems, activate your middle finger
- For emotions relating to depression, sadness, and grief or issues with the lungs, activate your index finger
- For dealing with the emotion of worry or anxiety or for reoccurring stomach issues, activate your thumb
For me this guidance triggers a few thoughts. First, the close connection between anxiety and the stomach make complete sense to me. Whenever I am feeling super anxious, my stomach very quickly becomes my enemy. I also find it amusing – albeit in a sophomoric way – that the middle finger corresponds to impatience. Lastly, I think about individuals who imbibe in too much alcohol and how when the liver is in overdrive, so then is their ability to regulate the emotion of anger. Do you see any other connections that you can make either in your life of in the lives of your friends and family?
The Connection Between Mudras and Yoga
A lesser known type of yoga is called Yoga Tatva Mudra Vigyan. It incorporates select mudras into a more sedentary yoga practice, similar to meditation. The yoga texts that describe this branch of practice are the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita.
One example of a mudra that lends itself to yoga is the Brahma Mudra. This mudra is known for relaxing the nervous system, reducing snoring, and increasing lung capacity.
In the exercise, you first must put your hands into the Adi Mudra. In Adi Mudra, the thumb is placed at the base of the small finger and the remaining fingers curl over the thumb, forming a light fist. Now, that you are in Adi Mudra, turn the knuckles of both hands together the hands facing upward are placed at the navel area. It is important when practicing any yoga mudra to take at least twelve deep breaths. The longer you hold this pose and observe your breath, the greater the outcome.
If you haven’t already tried out some of these mudras while reading this article, here are some next steps. First, decide if you would like to work with mudras in your yoga practice, meditation, or if there is a specific mudra that meets your needs.
For a more formal approach to incorporating mudras, here is a quick video that demonstrates a few easy mudras, I think Faith does a great job of walking you through the basics. Once you have progressed through her lesson, the next step is to try this longer video. Think of it as a whole class. You will feel so good afterwards and have a much better understanding of mudras and how they can be applied.
Also, now that you are getting more in touch with your hands, there are specific exercises you can do to take care of them.
While I suggest starting with the videos to learn the poses, after that you are free to explore on your own. I really like mudras, because unlike meditation and yoga, which are best practiced in a quite space, mudras can be practiced at any time. They can be added into your day in a more organic way. You can pick a mudra for stressful meetings and another one for before drifting off to sleep.