Mantra Repetition Increases Well-Being

Teaching your clients how to begin a mantra practice may offer them a simple tool to relieve stress and anxiety and to improve quality of life. Certain meditation techniques use repetition of a word or phrase, known as a mantra (or mantram), to aid in quieting the mind and restoring calm. Mantra repetition requires no special equipment and can be used anywhere; the practice is done silently, does not disrupt others and costs nothing.

Researchers in San Diego conducted a small, preliminary study to determine whether using a mantra was an effective and feasible way to improve well-being among healthcare workers, a population known to have high levels of stress. The study was published in The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing (2006; 37 [5], 218-24). Sixty-two employees from the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System participated in the trial. Subjects received The Mantram Handbook by Eknath Easwaran and attended five 90-minute classes over a 5-week period. Class topics included choosing and using a mantra; practicing one-pointed attention; slowing down; and applying these skills for stress management. In the first and last class sessions, subjects filled out self-report questionnaires concerning stress, anxiety, anger, quality of life and spiritual well-being. Participants also recorded how much mantra practice they did daily.

Data evaluation revealed that using a mantra on a regular basis improved feelings of well-being. In addition, researchers found that high mantra users experienced greater levels of improvement than low mantra users. Study authors were encouraged by these findings, since mantra repetition is portable, easy to implement and inexpensive, making it an attractive and realistic option for healthcare workers.

The study had a number of limitations: it was not randomized, there was no control group, and the sample size was small and 87.5% female. As stated by the authors themselves, more research is warranted.

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*Inner IDEA Conference note: Session 192 has been changed to the following title: "Intensive Overview-Pilates."
This session is not a representation of the Romana’s Pilates Certification Program.


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