When you find it hard to elevate your mood, what’s the first thing you do?
Do you put on moody tunes, chain yourself to the TV or your social media feeds and eat the last chocolate chip cookie?
When you have one of “those days” (or an endless string of them), unrolling the yoga mat, drinking a green smoothie and taking the dog for a walk are usually at the end of your to-do list.
No matter how good we get at taking care of ourselves, we often soak up others’ negative moods like a sponge. I mean, have you ever seen someone walk into a room and instantly know you didn’t want to be around them? Yep, me too.
We need a reminder when it comes to steeling ourselves against negative energy, whether created by others or ourselves — something to snap us back to the truth that even amid the discomfort of life we can choose peace.
This is why the Happy Momentum Mantra exists.
“Everything is going to be okay because where I am right now is exactly where I need to be.”
The power of mantra
A mantra is not simply a saying by which you live your life, like a manifesto. Mantras are sounds, words and phrases that move us from the level of thought to the level of soul. Ancient proof: In Sanskrit, man means “mind” and tra means “to transcend.”
The power of mantra lies in its continual use. By repeating mantras, we elevate ourselves from the ordinary machinations of the mind to the extraordinary. Mantras are simply another way to let go of negative energy.
So many religions model this — think praying the rosary and repeating sacred prayers and blessings.
You do this, too, without realizing it. The words in your daily vocabulary reveal how you think and feel about yourself. Children often repeat the same words after learning them, seemingly for the simple joy of the sound or eliciting a response from their caregivers.
It’s easy to become stuck in a low vibration when those sounds and words carry negative meaning. My boyfriend’s nephew is at a young age where food is “half good, half bad.” My own first words were, “I don’t wanna.”
How quickly we identify what we don’t like in life, and how quickly that causes us to notice more of what we don’t want, rather than what we do.
5 ways to let go of bad vibrations
We’re vibrationally and emotionally wired to the sounds and words that surround us. Music is a perfect example of how easily we’re influenced.
Put on mellow, calming tunes and studies show that your cortisol levels (the hormone that’s activated because of stress) will lower. Prolonged listening to high-intensity, loud music does the opposite — your nervous system revs and stress hormones increase.
The good news? You can craft your day and your life in a way that promotes peace and ease. Here are the things to let go of to vibrationally influence yourself out of negative energy:
- Stop watching or reading about current events that share nothing but doom and gloom. If you like keeping up with the world, limit yourself to one check in a day — but not first thing in the morning.
- Be mindful of gossip and complaining — being involved and as a bystander. Notice how many times and how many different people in your life engage in this regularly. Are they happy?
- Watch your negative self-talk. Notice how you answer the question, “How are you?” Do this over the course of a few days, writing down all the words you use, such as “fine, alright, good, great.” Notice how you can increase the ratio to favor positive words. In fact, have you ever told someone that you were feeling happy? It catches them off guard (trust me!) and you’ll find that your good mood is contagious.
- Save the sad or moody playlists and opt for even, calm and inspiring tunes without words. I love Spotify’s various ambient playlists for this very purpose.
- Repeat a positive, helpful mantra.
When you can replace just one word or thought or sound that keeps you down, it’s easier to change the next and the next and the next. Sea change is possible in your mind, and it all begins with becoming mindful about what you’re consuming — what you’re saying “yes” to, whether intentional or not.
Let your consumption this week serve the happiness you want to embody. Every breath is a chance to surrender old habits as surely as you let go of stale air.
And when you get tired of being mindful, take a deep breath and find comfort in the words I hope your heart knows all too well.
Everything is going to be okay.
You are exactly where you need to be.
Asana Practice: Big Toe Pose, Padangusthasana
Forward folding is the ultimate physical release and surrender of stale energy, and in this variation you can move deeper with the assistance of your arms. No matter how close your abdomen comes to your thighs, focus on a lengthened spine rather than a rounded upper back.
- Step your feet hip distance apart and inner feet parallel to one another. Lift the knee caps up to engage the thighs. On an exhale, hinge at your hips and fold over your legs.
- Bring the index and middle finger of each hand to the big and second toes of each foot, palms facing toward one another. You may bend your knees if you need. Curl your fingers around to maintain a good grip and gently rock the weight forward into the big toes.
- Inhale and lift your torso to a flat back, straightening the arms and legs. Feel the sit bones spread and lift behind you. Expand the collarbone and slide the shoulder blades down the back toward the hips.
- Exhale all the air out, feel the navel move in toward spine and fold into this space. Gently press up against the toes, bending your elbows out to the sides as you fold over your legs.
- Keep your torso and upper spine long, resisting rounding in the back by inhaling, performing step 3 and 4 again. Finally relax the head and neck and breathe smoothly and deeply into this pose for six cycles of breath.
- Release the hands from the toes, place the hands on the hips and inhale to standing, either with a long torso or curling the spine up. Notice the effects and sensations of the pose before moving on with your day.