Affirmations VS Mantras: Pros, Cons, & Differences

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Has life felt overwhelming lately? Are you trying to find a way to feel better about yourself so you have the motivation to achieve your goals? We’ve all been there.

So, today, we are going to do something about it!  We are going to help you understand the power of affirmations and mantras. These simple, yet effective, statements control our emotions – as well as our thoughts.  So, if you struggle with chronic stress or low self-worth, affirmations and mantras can help.

Maybe you’d like to boost your self-esteem through affirmations? Or rather, actualize your goals through the repetition of mantras?  If you are confused about which one is right for you – we are here to help you understand affirmations vs mantras.

A Definition of Affirmations and Mantras

Affirmations are positive statements directed towards yourself. Your affirmation should be a declaration that either compliments who you are as a person, or confirms who you want to be. You can focus your affirmations on typically anything you wish.

If you are someone on a weight loss journey, you may want to repeat affirmations that create a positive outlook to achieve your goals. They should be written in the present tense and focused on what you would like to change or praise about yourself. Such as: “You have the power to lose this weight,” or “You are beautiful no matter what you do.”

An excellent place to practice affirmations is directly in front of a mirror. Don’t shy away from looking yourself in the eye as you say these affirmations. You will feel the power the words have on you as you say them directly towards yourself.  You can also say affirmations whenever you feel down. If you are working out and feel like giving up, close your eyes, and repeat your affirmation. Stick with a routine and we promise you’ll start to feel better about yourself in no time!

If we do not fix our self-worth, we may feel unloved or unwanted. Affirmations have the power to build your confidence through self-love. Affirmations are a type of self-care that builds your motivation to accomplish your goals. Don’t be discouraged by the idea of speaking to yourself positively. Through the power of positive talking, those affirmations take their proper form. Everything that you tell yourself should affirm what you deserve to hear.

positive mantras for the day | positive mantras for work | short positive affirmations
Your affirmation should be a declaration that either compliments who you are as a person, or confirms who you want to be.

Mantras are chants repeated multiple times during a spiritual session, like yoga or meditation. Mantra means to “release the mind” in Sanskrit terminology. A mantra can either be a word or phrase, said multiple times within one session. A session should take a minimum of ten minutes. That is, to fully entrance yourself with the words through meditation.

Unlike affirmations, which are typically said once, mantras take time and concentration to complete. The importance is to break away from the world around you to focus directly on the words you speak.

Mantras take focus and patience. It is a form of meditation that you must take seriously. The best way to practice a mantra is through some type of meditation. Find a quiet place, sit on the ground, focus on your breathing, and begin to chant your mantra.

The harmony of repetition creates a vibration that lingers inside your body and releases the mind. The repetition of the words lowers anxiety and brings you close to inner peace. Lastly, the meaning of the words themselves offers insight into who you are as a person and what you are capable of accomplishing.

Likewise, reciting mantras helps you understand the chaos surrounding all of us. The world is filled with unknowns, and mantras help you come to terms with our inability to control the chaos. Although we do not have control over other people, we can control ourselves. A mantra can be as simple as, “I will not let outside sources influence who I am as a person.”

Remember to allow mantras to guide you through your fears… so that you can overcome them. Repeat words that make you feel powerful to find your inner peace and self-wroth.  

Affirmations Pros and Cons

Affirmations are a great way to increase your self-esteem. However, some affirmations can negatively impact you. Sometimes you may not even realize that you are practicing a negative affirmation. Meaning sometimes, when you fail, you may say, “I’m so stupid.” If you allow a negative thought to overtake a positive thought, your affirmations will become toxic. Don’t allow negative affirmations to overrule the positives.

You need to be kind and learn to love yourself, which can put you in the right mindset to improve your self-worth. Take a look at the pros and cons of affirmations to remember what they can offer you. And be sure to remember the cons if you don’t recite positive affirmations to yourself.

Pros of Affirmations

  • A decrease in negative thoughts.
  • The motivation to act upon your wants and desires.
  • Improves concentration to achieve goals.
  • Lowers stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • A decrease in self-doubt.  

Cons of Affirmations

  • Negative affirmations can easily creep into your mind.
  • May cause a false sense of entitlement.  
  • Affirmations may build a lousy self-perception.

Mantras Pros and Cons

Mantras are a fantastic way to meditate and release the mind. However, although there are many positives, be cautious of the adverse effects. The only way to practice mantras is to feel like you are one with yourself and the world. Many people struggle with simple meditation and can’t find their inner peace. Remember, mantras can take time to master, but don’t let that discourage you.

It’s essential to keep track of the positive and negative effects mantras have on a person. If you have trouble with meditation, don’t be discouraged. Check out our article on the four things you need to know about meditation to help you get started.

Pros of Mantras

  • Finding inner peace with yourself and the world around you.
  • Improves your mood and mindset.
  • Improves your outlook on life.
  • Increases focus and the ability to memorize positive phrases.
  • Helps with meditation.

Cons of Mantras

  • Some people have trouble focusing on one mantra at a time.
  • Reciting negative mantras will harm your mindfulness and self-esteem.
  • A mantra is not a wish that comes true without work. You must act upon your mantra.

To Sum Up the Pros and Cons…

Below is a great infographic that illustrates the pros and cons of affirmations and mantras. You can see that the positives far outweigh the negatives. Bear in mind that you can limit the number of negative effects if you practice affirmations and mantras correctly.

mantras and affirmations | examples of mantras | affirmation examples

How to Decide Between Affirmations and Mantras

The decision to use an affirmation or mantra depends on your personality and lifestyle. Think about your life and everything you would like to fix or change for the better. Ask yourself, “What type of person am I?” Are you an individual who wants to achieve all your goals? Or are you someone who wants to settle down with the love of your life?

examples of mantras | powerful affirmations | 365 daily affirmations
Mantras are chants repeated multiple times during a spiritual session, like yoga or meditation.

Affirmations typically provide you the courage and strength to accomplish your goals. In contrast, mantras offer insight into the world and how you can navigate it. Although they both have their positives and negatives, you must understand the benefits they can provide to you personally.

For example, a person with high self-esteem may not find affirmations helpful, but they may discover mantras essential to keep their mindset in a spiritual area.  Also, someone who is already a spiritual person may not benefit from meditation, but they may value improving their identity through affirmations.

It is entirely up to you to decide what you would like to accomplish with an affirmation or a mantra. So, affirmations vs mantras – which do you choose?

Choose Affirmations if:

  • You want to decrease negative feelings towards yourself.
  • You believe you can change who you are for the better.
  • You believe in yourself to achieve greatness.
  • You want to strengthen your self-worth.
  • You want to lower your stress and anxiety.
  • You want to take care of your depression.
  • You want to build your confidence.
  • You want to overcome bad habits.
  • You want to improve your productivity.
  • You want to wake up in a good mood.

Choose Mantras if:

  • You want to build a better connection with the world around you.
  • You want to reduce your stress when dealing with events outside your control.
  • You want to achieve a greater sense of calm.
  • You want to release your brain from worry.
  • You want to practice patterns of positive thoughts.
  • You want to improve on the art of meditation.
  • You want to find another form of therapy to help ease your mind.
  • You want to self-actualize your goals.
  • You want to believe that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

Final Thoughts on Affirmations VS Mantras

Although they may sound similar, affirmations and mantras are inherently different. Be sure to choose the path that is right for you.  

If you find that easier said than done, know that the best thing about affirmations vs mantras is that you can practice both! Just be sure you understand the difference before beginning your daily routine. For more examples of affirmations, check out our article on 57 Positive Affirmations for Success in Life. And if you’d like a guide to mantras, you should definitely read our article on the practice of So Hum Mantra.

Finally, if you want a simple tool to record and recite these affirmations, then check out these 13 affirmations apps that help you create a positive mindset.

affirmations vs mantras | positive affirmations | powerful daily affirmations