Anxiety is a huge mental health concern affecting millions of people everyday. I see it all of the time in my practice and it's astonishing how much anxiety can affect other aspects of health. In recent years it has been established how much digestion can be affected by anxiety and low mood. As people become more inclined to live a fast-paced high pressure life, it is important to be able to find ways to improve mental well-being and reduce feelings of anxiety in everyday life.
In Buddhist teaching a mantra is a powerful way to instil an intention. A mantra is performed by repeating a powerful phase over and over. Traditionally a mala is used in order to count and repeat the phrase. A mala is a string of 108 beads (plus an additional one – this is considered the Guru bead) similar to rosary beads. The mala works by twisting one of the beads for every time you repeat the phrase and working your way through the beads until you reach the Guru bead. It is a helpful tool but you can perform the mantra without it.
So let's give it a go! So either take your mala or other method of counting out 108 times (this can be as simple as ticking off a tally etc.) and begin to repeat the following phrase to help allay your anxiety.
“I love and approve of myself, I trust the process of life. I am safe”
By repeating the phrase over and over we create a strong neurological pathway in the brain that makes it easier for us to integrate the belief. The wonderful neuroplasticity of the brain will help you to refer to this belief more so than the feelings of anxiety.
Try to do 108 repetitions everyday or even if you just have a bit of time whilst you are waiting at the trains station, waiting for your coffee or waiting in traffic; just repeat the phrase as many times as you can. The more you do it, the stronger the neural pathway will be and the more it can help to reduce your anxiety!
I have found this technique wonderfully helpful for my patients and myself. It can be a beautiful way to start appreciating and nourishing yourself and begin supporting your mental health :)
- Jazz xx