The Mindfulness Scale
Self Love

The Mindfulness Scale

Take life as it comes, no more, no less.

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Rumination is not a good thing.

Rumination is thinking. And thinking and thinking and thinking and so on and so forth into oblivion. In the one and only case I'll agree with Beauty and the Beast's Gaston, it is a dangerous pastime, I know. It is a rampant monster that latches onto your mind and replaces all other possible trains of thought. For goodness's sake, it buys out the whole station and fires the staff, opting to run things into the furthest extent of anarchy. It is a hyper-fixation on the depths of despair, examining every angle of a terrible situation until the emotions that inherently reside in said situation have had enough time to encircle and ensnare you with no hope of rescue.

The kicker of rumination is that it appears to be a good idea. You shouldn't ignore your feelings and allow them to fester until they burst forth like an unpleasant version of Mento's in a Coke bottle, right? You should allow yourself to accept them, to sift through them, to understand them. To keep them in your mind as a constant tool for understanding your own pain.

But rumination only pretends to offer that kind of understanding. In actuality, rumination is a trap, a pit from which escape is laughable at best with an inexplicable potential to get worse. Rumination means you don't allow yourself up for air from the negativity that is causing you pain. You keep exploring a situation until you know it more intimately than you ever needed, and the further in you go, the harder it becomes to see the positive side of any of it. Negative emotion will feed negative emotions; you'll begin to see downsides to what you're experiencing that you hadn't seen before, that aren't even real. Rumination is placing a cage around your emotions. You're going to feel what you're feeling, and it's not going to feel any better.

Emotional inhibition is not a good thing.

Emotional inhibition is not thinking. And not thinking and not thinking and so on and so forth into oblivion. Wanting to escape the pain you are experiencing, you attempt to convince yourself it isn't there. You enter a state of delusion and constantly lying to yourself about what is in your head and on your heart. Out of sight, out of mind, right? You think that actively not thinking about it all will lessen the weight until you've finally convinced yourself that whatever it is or was or used to be means nothing to you. Nothing at all.

The kicker of inhibition is that it appears to be a good idea. Negative emotions aren't going to serve you any purpose, are they? They'll only continue to hurt, to stall healing, to disrupt daily living. Why not forget them? Why not shove them all down so that they can't possibly see the light of day?

But emotional inhibition is not acceptance. It is not coming to terms with what has happened to you. It is not coping in healthy ways with the trials you are enduring. It is trying to convince yourself you don't feel feelings, a futile effort on every side. Even if you succeeded in convincing yourself you don't feel the pain, you likely wouldn't feel anything. It might be stalled in getting worse, but it would never feel better. It can't. If you can't even look at your emotions, they will continue to run rampant and have control until the very end.

Mindfulness is a good thing.

Mindfulness is deciding through self-awareness what needs to be down about intense emotional conflict. It is not making turmoil the sole focus of life, and it is not making turmoil disappear until it boils over under the surface. Mindfulness is seeing the here and now, is understanding that the past is unchanging and the future is not set in stone. It is taking everything in stride, it is remembering what it means to be okay and acknowledging that though things might not be okay right now, they will be.

Too much thinking traps you in the negative. Too little thinking traps you in lies and frustration. Take like how it comes. Make the most of your moments and don't let fear and painful stress dictate your everything. Or anything.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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