Cartoon Network's Steven Universe has become immensely popular among adults and children. The intricate character development and unpredictable plot have led to a strong fan base. Fans admire that, unlike many other "kid's shows", Steven Universe does not shy away from serious topics like homosexuality, PTSD, and self-esteem issues.
The most recent SU episode, Mindfulness Education, premiered a song called "Here Comes A Thought". Anxiety and negative thinking is represented as butterflies which swarm the characters, making it impossible for them to see anything else. The lyrics narrate this with the words "All these little things seem to matter so much". Those with anxiety know that anxiety often comes from small and irrational events. What others would not even notice becomes the only thing that you can focus on.
The song also describes the reasons that anxiety attacks: "Here comes a thought/ that might alarm you/ what someone said/ and how it harmed you/ something you did that failed to be charming/ things that you said are suddenly swarming". Anxiety can cause your thoughts to be stuck in a loop, which makes it difficult to stop thinking about something you or someone else did or said.
"Here Comes A Thought" doesn't just stop at describing anxiety. It also shows how meditation can be a useful way to cope. Throughout the song, the characters are seated in meditative positions. After they struggle with anxious thoughts, they are shown taking deep breaths to regain their composure. Meditation and deep breathing are both coping mechanisms that aid those with anxiety.
The lyrics tell the listener to "Take a moment, remind yourself/ to take a moment and find yourself/ take a moment and ask yourself/ if this is how we fall apart/ but it's not, but it's not, but it's not, but it's not/ it's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay". Something as simple as reminding an anxious person that the reason for their anxiety isn't the end of the world can stop them from spiraling. By taking a moment to meditate, those with anxiety can help stop themselves from feeling overwhelmed.
Many are hoping that Steven Universe wins a grammy for this episode and song. Teaching children (and adults) how to handle anxiety is something that is deeply important. SU deserves to be recognized for their role in helping fans see that they aren't alone in the things that they struggle in.