The process of mentally repeating a mantra is called japa, which literally means “muttering” in Sanskrit. With practice, japa becomes well rooted in the mind, and the sound of the mantra flows continuously from moment to moment. It may flow slowly, linked to the breath.
We all chant something on a daily, sometimes hourly basis that brings us comfort and a bit of good luck. Most commonly, we find ourselves chanting ‘Mantras’. Although they are largely associated with prayers, religious offerings and proverbial incantations, mantras or ‘chants’ play a vital role in our daily lives in order to keep us centred and grounded. It may also appear that these mantras we chant daily have some distinct advantages that set them apart from other religious rites. Mantras were developed as a transcendental vibration to affect specific aspects of human well-being. It is a form of meditation a tool that helps you release your mind and connect more deeply with yourself and the higher mind by finding a sense of stillness in the repetition.
Chanting mantras is a great introduction to meditation if you have ever felt frustrated by your inability to keep intrusive thoughts at bay during silent sitting practice.” Adopting this practice also offers many other benefits that help us find order in our routines. Chanting a phrase or a word, over and over again allows us to become more self-aware, reduces our stress and allows us to gain a greater sense of calm. Here are five benefits of chanting mantras:
1. A calmer mind – When you chant mantras, you fall into a sort of repetitive trance. This in and of itself helps regulate your breath, deepening it and training it into a consistent rhythm. This rhythm helps calm the mind and the nervous system, increasing overall wellbeing and health.
2. Optimised flow of energy – Everything in the known universe is made up of vibrating energy. The vibrations from chanting particular sounds and mantras can help activate or balance the different chakras, aligning them or helping to improve the flow of energy throughout the body. When you chant a mantra, the ancient sound vibrations carefully designed by the sages impact your vibrational frequency.
3. Enhanced mental wellbeing – Just as mantra affects the body, it has a pronounced effect on the mind, as the two are deeply intertwined. Just like how certain breathing techniques positively affect your physical wellbeing, manifesting itself as wellbeing in mind, mantra chanting has a similar effect.
4. Enabling a meditative state of mind – Chanting mantra is an amazing way for beginners to shift into a meditative state of mind, as it provides your brain with something to focus on, allowing your other mental chatter to quieten.
5. Listening to mantras also helps – Simply listening to mantras as an ambient companion sound will offer some benefits from the vibration sound frequencies. You can listen to mantras when you are cooking, in the shower, or driving and still feel the positive effect of these ancient vibrational frequencies.
6. Increased focus and concentration – Chanting can help focus the mind and increase concentration. This is because it requires mental focus and repetition, which can help quiet the mind and reduce distractions.
In some scientific studies, chanting has been shown to improve attention, contribute towards a positive mood and increase feelings of social cohesion. Incorporate chanting mantras in your daily routine to calm your mind and become one with yourself through sound.
Scientific benefits of mantra meditation: A 2016 study of 45 inexperienced chanters and 27 experienced chanters found that chanting “om” for 10 minutes can help:
1. Reduce stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. When the correct technique is used, chanting can help reduce symptoms of anxiety. This includes slowing heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and oxygenating the brain.
2. Improve attention.
3. Enhance positive mood.
4. Foster feelings of social cohesion.
5. Humming can boost the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps regulate the nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems. This in turn can help increase blood flow and muscle relaxation.
There are many research done on such processes. Chanting helps to change your perspective towards others. Rather than complaining about things, we now find ourselves cultivating gratitude towards life. This practice does not ask you to depend on any third person for your happiness, but it starts with you and your heart.