A friend of mine looks forward to her morning tea, because inspirational words stamped on the tea bag tag give her day a happy start. “Never lose your sense of wonder” is just one quote from her particular brand of tea, YogiTeas, rooted in the holistic living teachings of Yogi Bhajan, who guided others to know and live their purpose in life.

Can a quote really make you live better and be happier? Quotes might make us happier if we think of them less as pithy sayings and more as moral guidance that encourages us to pause, take a breath, tap into the best of ourselves, and find our own paths to joy.

For some, it might seem less spiritual to get inspiration from a words on a tea tag, mug, key ring, or iPhone via quote app, but if you separate the words from the material item upon which they were stamped, you can come away with some pretty relevant advice for happiness if you connect with the meaning of the words, whether it’s on a t-shirt or in a philosophy book. For example:

Mantras, groups of words believed to help you silence your mind and focus on an internal path to bliss, have been guiding yogis toward contentment and harmony for thousands of years. In Sanskrit, “mantra” roughly means “mind instrument.” Mantras are often repeated as vocalized chants, in your mind silently, or with a mala for sacred meditation.  They are meant to shift your mind and energies.  Here are a few uplifting mantras:

  • Ananda Hum, loosely translates to, “I am bliss,” is a mantra that helps you, personally, resonate with the inherent happiness of life
  • Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu means, “May all beings be happy and free,” and commits oneself to living in harmony with others and nature
  • Om is a sacred sound that brings us into tonal and vibrational harmony with the universe. At one with the universe, you can calm your mind and find contentment and calm by chanting one syllable

In fact, you won’t have a hard time finding “Om” on a t-shirt. It’s an ancient, quotable mantra for today’s busy life, you might say.

Whether you connect with mantras or quotes on web sites, in art for your wall, or keep it traditional with Sanskrit in the classroom, all of it can inspire you on your personal path toward a happier version of you.