View Full Version : Calming mantras?
13 October 2009, 02:17 AM
Could anyone recommend to me some mantras I could say/chant that would calm me down when I'm going through great internal turmoil? Just text, or even links to Youtube (or else) would be great. I thank you in advance.
I'm going through an academically and emotionally challenging time right now...I finished my Year 3 of my medical degree but because it's a "barrier year" you're not allowed to leave any subjects thus far unpassed...I wasn't able to succeed in my Microbiology exams so I have that subject pending; however, due to the unusually high amount of students in the same situation (about 50 out of a total of 300 students in my year), teachers are meeting up today in order to decide whether they should give us another shot, or make us fail the year as planned, or what... My biggest issue isn't having to repeat a year of study, it's my parents. Ever since I entered school they've put a lot of pressure on me, academically (I was considered a "prodigy child" so I've always been one year ahead of schedule in school), even resorting to mental (and often physical) violence when I got anything less of an A+ in tests. Now I'm in this situation, sometimes they seem to care but quite often they'll tell me if I "weren't so distracted I could've read the exam questions properly and succeeded" and even this morning I got woken up an hour ago, at 7am, to be told I was a "bloody retard" and an "utter moron" (I'm even quoting them here). I couldn't stop crying for ages and I still haven't quite calmed down, which is why I was wondering if there's any mantra or anything as such I could use in these situations...
Apologies for the long post.
13 October 2009, 02:53 AM
Here is a link to a Mantra called as Shanti Mantra(Peaceful Chant)
Hope this helps,
13 October 2009, 03:09 AM
Many thanks, Mukunda. I will listen right away. :)
13 October 2009, 04:36 AM
More than a Mantra, I think you need breathing exercise lesson to calm down. I am not an expert but I can offer you some tips :
Your restlessness or calmness of mind is directly related to your breathing. You can very effectively control your nerves by having control over your breath. Whenever you feel agitated, try to do this :
Focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly thinking that you are breathing in all positive energy around you & filling inside you. Stop for a little till you can do it comfortably & enjoy the peace generated in your mind by this positive energy. Then breathe out slowly thinking that you are driving out all negative energy with this out-going breath. Wait a little ... again enjoying the peaceful effect of driving out the negative energy inside you. Then again start the cycle . Do it for a few minutes ... it will surely relax you. You can also chant 'OM' mentally while breathing in /breathing out matching the pace of the breath which will bring its own positive effect.
Don't strain either physically or mentally during the above exercise. You should do it in a completely natural pace without straining yourself. The focus should be on enjoying the peace .... making yourself free from all compulsions of life .... remembering that your true nature is of the spirit which is peaceful & blissful.
Best of luck ...
13 October 2009, 04:49 AM
Namaste devotee :) Thank you, that sounds like a good idea. I was just waiting for someone to come deliver some books (they got here as I was typing this post) and I shall now attempt to do that. I'll also get some incense burning while I'm doing this exercise. I feel a lot better already after having heard the mantra a few times, just got a bit of a headache still...
(I do hope I don't "annoy" anyone in the forum community by bringing my problems here...it's just that it's the only place really whereas I can "talk" to people who feel the same, religiously speaking, and...I'm ever so grateful Lord Ganesha guided me to this place!)
13 October 2009, 07:45 AM
Personally speaking, I find calming beautiful bhajans or soft music to be more calming than mantras. Mantras connote, to me at least, an intent to say something ... thinking, in other words. Whereas bhajans in the background just calm. But different things work for different folks.
Just to add a bit to devotee's message: At first you can count mentally from 1 to 9 on the inbreath, and same for outbreath. It works better if the breathing is regular, in and out being of same time duration. To check if your breathing is diaphramatic, put your hand on tummy. It should rise slightly as you breathe in. In tension times, we forget to breathe.
13 October 2009, 03:19 PM
Some good advice from devotee. Breathing is crucial to controlling your heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension which are all related to your state of anxiety. Start from there. You could also light a few candles and take a warm bath in the semi-darkness as you do your breathing exercises. The "Soham" method of inhalation (soooo) and then exhalation (hmmmm) is an excellent way to repeat a mantra like chant without really having to focus on anything - the breathing is already doing the chanting for you.
EM makes a good point on the bhajans. Mantras seem better suited to concentration, mental focus and cognitive stimulation. I think if you're feeling overwhelmed, you want to try and get your emotions back to a baseline before you use a mantra. My advice then is listen to any piece of music that soothes you, whether that be hymns, soft music, classical, or ambient sounds of the sea, rain, etc.
Try not to take what your parents say to heart (and I know that can be difficult, believe me). Names like that are often said in the heat of the moment and regretted later. It was the same with my sister; she was a med student for a while. A lot of pressure was put on her, sometimes things were said to her that were said in the heat of the moment, like my mother really wanting her to succeed in her course. "We have a doctor in the family", that whole mentality can drive parents to push their kids a bit too far, so I totally understand. Don't let it get to you! Keep studying and do the best you can in your exams. It's all anyone can ask of you.
13 October 2009, 04:05 PM
The mantra/bhajan issue is true, as I found out today! I performed my first puja (:D well I tried at least...) and I had a mantra to Lord Ganesha on repeat very quietly in the background, and it did distract me a little at first because I kept incidentally listening out for the words...but I've just asked a friend to send me a few bhajans over Msn so that's good. :)
(And yeah, I suppose parents can be like that, especially when they have certain - often unreasonable ones...mum's not very happy right now that I have my heart set on Hyperbaric & Subaquatic Medicine, and not something "useful for the old family" like Cardiology, or Rheumatology or something...)
13 October 2009, 06:00 PM
I just did some browsing on bhajans. I must say it is really information overload. It would be easy to browse, and add some to your favorites. I'm biased to the Tamil Murugan songs, or Thevarams, even though I can't understand any of the words. I love the internet.
04 February 2010, 10:04 PM
Excellent ideas everyone. I have been learning a bit from my lessons in both (lessons from teaching of Paramhansa Yogananda) and also my college class on Stress reduction and relaxation.
I think breathing is so important to calm us (wish I could realize this in each moment! aah!) Diaphragmatic breathing is of upmost importance. Many pranayama teachings use this type of breathing. With little oxigen and a build up of carbon dioxide that is due to breath holding (when responding to stressful situations) is a cause for fatigue and depression. With shallow breaths it causes much anxiety. Watch a new born baby breath you will notice they breathe freely from their belly (diaphram pushing rising and falling). You can experiment by lying on your back (bend your knees with feet pressed against the ground) or you can just lay legs down. Place a hand on your belly and a hand on your chest. Through proper breathing you will notice the rise and fall of the belly.
Stress is caused due to one's reaction to a stressful event. Two people can be going through the same stressful situation but have different reactions. The best thing to do is to accept what is as it is (which I fail almost always!) so if you fail you have a chance to recollect yourself by the incessant wave of thoughts that are fueling your anxiety and stress (which I fail almost always!), if you miss that then you may rebound by feeling the physiological affects of the stress. For an example you may feel the anxiety in the heart or butterflies in the stomach or the muscles in your face are tough (stressed). If you notice then stop and be present breathing in and out properly. Do this for a minute or two. If you feel tension in the body you may want to breath in deeply as you tense your entire body and then exhale deeply letting go of all the tension.
One can always do a body scan to relieve stress as well.
Best wishes to all
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