83 per cent of veterans and hospital staff surveyed after a five-week mantram course told researchers from the US Department of Veterans Affairs that they found the technique which involves silently and continuously repeating calming words or phrases throughout the day - useful on a number of occasions.
Just under a quarter of these occasions (24 per cent) related to traffic and work-related stress, 13 per cent to insomnia and 12 per cent to unwanted thoughts. More than half (51 per cent) related to emotional situations.
"Repeating the mantram seemed to stop post-traumatic stress disorder-type dreams that had occurred for 10 to 11 years" said a former veteran and one of the 66 people taking part in the survey.
"I have racing thoughts. I think about a ton of things what I'm going to do about this and what I'm going to do about that and then I start the mantram and it helps" added another.
A third found that using a mantram had an unexpectedly healthy side effect, commenting: "I use it sometimes when I'm on the treadmill at the gym. When I'm wishing that the time would go a little faster. And I'll just start using my mantram and then I forget about it and it helps me exercise a little longer."
"The people taking part in the study found that silently repeating a specific word or phrase helped them to handle a number of difficult situations" explains lead researcher Jill E Bormann, Research Nurse Scientist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System in California.
Dr Bormann and her fellow researchers from the Universities of California and North Carolina deliberately chose two highly stressed groups to take part in the study.