Affirmations are statements that express and assert a desire or belief. By repeating the affirmation, you are reminding yourself of your strengths and goals.

Mantras are words, short phrases, or sounds that help you focus your mind. They’re often used in meditation by sitting comfortably and mentally or verbally repeating it, returning your attention to the mantra when your mind wanders. You might, for example, repeat the phrase “peace and calm” for several minutes while sitting quietly at a break during your busy day.

How to Use Affirmations and Mantras to Improve Your Mental Health

Some tips for using affirmations and mantras for your mental health:

  • Decide what you want to cultivate. Calm? Happiness? Focus? Motivation?
  • Write statements of affirmation and place them where you’ll see them during your day. Pause and read them thoughtfully whenever you see them.
  • Choose a single word or short phrase to act as a mantra. Pick a regular time to meditate and repeat the mantra. Set a timer, and keep it short at first—even just one minute

Repeating affirmations and mantras regularly teaches your brain what to focus on. You gradually begin to internalize these positives rather than focusing on what you don’t actually want.