In yogic philosophy, the number 108 is considered holy and spiritual for more than a myriad of reasons. It is said to be the number symbolizing almost everything in the universe:
- The Sanskrit alphabet: (54 letters with a masculine (shiva) and feminine (shakti) element making a total of 108 characters!)
- It has mathematical significance: division by the sum of its digits for example
- 108 mortal desires, lies, delusions
- 9 planets and 12 houses in astrology (9 x 12 = 108)
- diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth!
You can find more about this here. So, because of this “auspicious” number, some yogis like to use a flow of 108 surya namaskar (sun salutations) for momentous events like the winter and summer solstices, the new year, and others. There are 108 beads on a mala necklace (mala meaning garland) which people use in meditation. Malas have their own interesting story too!
Sometimes when you are meditating with a mala, you are given a mantra to repeat while you touch each bead. A mantra is a positive thought or spiritual lesson that by its repetition is supposed to help integrate this thought into your body and mind. This is the exact same idea with positive affirmation! By repeating the same positive sentence or word over and over again, you can replace the negative thoughts with much more productive positive ones.
Even if 108 sun salutations aren’t your thing and you aren’t ready to grab a mala (or rosary– the Christian version of the mala) to meditate with, thinking good, positive thoughts is a great habit to get in to. Since it’s the new year, what better time to get your mind juiced with goodness than now?
Here are 108 positive affirmations to think to yourself. And if you’re feeling particularly bold, you can think ’em while you’re inhaling and exhaling in some surya namaskars!
Tips for using affirmations:
When you walk throughout your day, pick something positive to think about. It can be as simple as one word: Wonder. Amazement. Happiness.
You can elaborate on this word: I am surrounded by love.
Repeat your affirmation– or in yogic terminology mantra— daily so that you can begin to make the positive change that will begin to re-write all the naysayers and ick that has accumulated. Akin to using fudge, frogs, poop, and beaverdam around kids, you want to reprogram your mind to think the best: I am worthy.
In the morning, look in the mirror and repeat your affirmation until you can say it without feeling silly and ridiculous. At first it might take awhile but if you can look at yourself and really see beauty, intelligence, and whatever else you’re saying, then you will be able to act from those places. When you get frustrated and would normally fall into self-destructive habits, you will remember your mirror time and it will, as time wears on, be harder for you to fall back into the negative beliefs that let you act against your best intentions! If you truly believe you’re worthy, you won’t treat yourself like you’re not. 😉 That is also to say, if you can see it, you can believe it.
Write down some of your favorite affirmations and carry them in your wallet or taped on the back of your phone. When you’re feeling a overwhelmed and about to go into a negative monologue on yourself, look at your affirmations and quietly or aloud repeat them to yourself. Imagine this as the pep talk you would want a friend to give you knowing that your friend likely won’t be there when you need that pep talk the most. So you give it to yourself. 🙂
There are so many ways to incorporate a more positive outlook through mantra and affirmation into your routine. By making it your resolution to even say one positive thought a day, you will have changed the negative self dial to positivity at least 365 times by the end of the year! That’s a lot! If you had to give up a dollar every time you said something negative and you earned a dollar every time you said something positive, you would start to see how this can effect your outlook on life. Just like your bank account, the more positive energy you feed into it (dollars) the more you get back and that you can get in the future! The more you spend (by saying negative things), the less you have.
Every day is a new day, every week is an opportunity to begin again– let yourself bring in each breath with a positive affirmation. And if you forget, take a peak at the 108 beautiful things above to get your brain juices flowing.