The Difference Between Mantra and English Affirmations
The word ‘Mantra’ comes from ‘manas’ (mind) and ‘tra’ (liberation, truth, tool) and so I guess many things could be mantras from this explanation but generally, mantra may be considered a sound or phrase that we repeat either silently or aloud. It is said that Sanskrit mantras have come from the sounds of nature and therefore they connect us with nature and our true selves. On the other hand, English affirmations, such as “I am beautiful”, do not seem to have the same vibratory power as the Sanskrit mantras. The science has found mixed results with comparison of English and Sanskrit sounds and therefore more research is needed. However, some studies have found that English affirmations only work if someone has high self-esteem. So, if someone repeats a phrase such as “I am beautiful” and they are already likely to believe it, then it can reinforce what they think of themselves and increase their confidence. On the other hand, if someone has low self-esteem and they repeat a phrase that they do not truly believe about themselves such as “I am beautiful” then they can be reinforcing a concept that they do not believe and it can lead to thinking the exact opposite! That is, by repeating “I am beautiful” they reinforce that they think they are NOT beautiful.
Personally, I find Sanskrit mantras to be extremely effective in altering mundane states of awareness, reducing depressive symptoms and anxiety, and increasing self-awareness. That is not to say that other languages do not work. I have also found Hebrew and Arabic to be extremely effective! This is when we simply become our own scientific experiment by trying out the practices for ourselves and seeing what works for us! Happy Chanting!