What does this have to do with mantras? Stick with me a few minutes and you’ll see.
Mantras are a meditation technique from Hindu tradition. However similar techniques have been used in many other cultures. Recent studies have found that use of mantras can have some logical but unexpected benefits for people with HIV/AIDS.
A mantra is a meaningful phrase which is repeated as a focus for the thoughts. Traditional mantras include various names of God and other spiritual phrases. However mantras can be many things. The important thing is that the mantra be personally meaningful to the person using it.
People with HIV/AIDS who participated in a study using mantras found that they were better able to deal with stressful situations and were less angry. Because mantras are ‘portable meditation’ – able to be used any time and any where – it can be ideal for stress relief on-the-go.
Anger and stress can often drive people away. The more stressed you are, the more likely it is that other people will feel you are lashing out and blaming them when things go wrong. Which can damage relationships, eroding your support network. Having a tool to help de-stress and cope with difficult situations in a positive way can be a big deal when it comes to building and keeping support networks.
If you want to learn and start using mantras, it is best if you can find a local meditation center with someone experienced in mantra meditation to help you choose a good mantra. A good teacher can also suggest exercises and practices to help you begin using the mantra. If there isn’t a meditation center in your area, or you can’t afford their fees, you can learn a great deal about mantras and mantra practice online. Many teachers and practitioners will be happy to exchange emails with people seeking to learn.
Mantras aren’t a magic wand. They don’t create immediate change. By practicing and reciting a mantra at different times throughout the day, you create new habits and new patterns of thought. It can take a month or more to start seeing an effect, but the benefit increases with time.
If you currently have a strong support network, but are dealing with a great deal of stress and anger, starting mantra practice can help you cope with the negative feelings before they damage your friendships and yourself. If you don’t have a support network, mantras can help you cope with the stress and frustration, making you calmer and more able to build a new one.