a mantra is defined as a religious or mystical syllable or poem. mantras originated in the vedic religion, hindu tradition, buddhism, sikkism & jainism. the focus of the mantra is on the pronunciation and the sound. while the use of mantras varies in the modern world, they are thought to instill concentration in the devotee.
in terms of modern use, personal mantras seem to have nothing to do with traditional religion. are they a good idea, do they calm us down, do they make us focus? or are they all hype, are they simply tattoos waiting in the wings? i tend to over analyze situations, my character, my skills, my situations. someone told me a while ago that i should start meditating & repeat a personal mantra while doing so (ie, chanting). i found that i had little time to meditate, because all my quiet time was spent over thinking the aforementioned items. my thoughts have changed. i think that some of life's situations require mantras, or as i like to call them "slogans." they let you retrack your thoughts, concentrate on the big picture & get you through your little road bumps. i will bring myself back from spiraling over analyzation with a simple three word slogan (thanks for the text).