Bettering your mental health by being mindful
Start writing a post
Lifestyles

The Magic of Mindfulness

How being mindful can change your life

162
The Magic of Mindfulness

Recently, while stumbling down a rabbit-hole of various Youtube videos, I came across one particular video that featured an interview with actor / director Chris Evans. It is advertised as an advice piece toward people struggling with their mental health, and, being a fan of both Evans and anyone who advocates for mental health, it is an easy sell to get me to watch it.

In this deeply personal interview, Evans discusses his own struggles with anxiety and self-doubt throughout his career. Even for a celebrity, sharing intimate pieces of your life with the world is a greatly difficult and uncomfortable task. However, by sharing his experience and the ways in which he coped and continues to cope with his struggles, it opens the door for the rest of us to be more open about discussing our own experiences and coping methods with one another. In this article, I hope I can do his story and the way it helped to better mine some justice.

So, upon settling down and waiting to hear some surely sage advice from the kind-hearted star, there are a few thoughts running through my head. There's a sense of doubt that whatever I'm going to hear is actually to be as powerful as the video claims it is, as well as this overwhelming desire to find out if maybe this time is going to be different. Maybe I'll hear something that will actually have an effect on me. I am surprised to find, in the end, that he provides us only with a one-worded answer.

Sh. Yes, you read that right. Simply sh. Allow me to explain.

In this interview, Evans eloquently explains how unnecessarily noisy our brains can be, and how much time we can waste listening to that noise instead of living our lives to its fullest extent. Noise, of course, refers to the whirring thoughts in our heads that we wish we could just turn off sometimes, as though it were a light switch or the ignition of a car. Interestingly enough, Evans explores the idea that maybe it is a little possible to try.

This advice, sh, is, in his own words, "oversimplified but... profound." Here's how.

Telling your brain to be quiet isn't as easy as it sounds on paper. It actually takes a lot to be able to really force yourself to just quiet your mind. For some people, that's pretty much impossible, and that's okay. This isn't a one size fits all method, because our mental health varies from person to person. The point is, maybe it doesn't work for you, but maybe it does work for someone else.

My thoughts and positive experience as a result of following this advice is solely my own, and I cannot speak for anyone else without them voicing their own opinion. While I don't know whether this is going to work for you, I do know that we are all guilty of overthinking situations and conversations in our lives; I believe that is part of being human. I speak from my own experience that I am a chronic overthinker, and I worry about just about anything and everything. In school, work, and life in general, things get the better of us and leave us in a silent panic trying to come to terms with every little mistake or embarrassing moment. I've come to learn that being able to tell my brain sh has started to reshape my perspective and quality of living for the better. Evans, just like you or me, has had times in his life where he spent hours just thinking, too. We all know how easy it is to sink into that hole, looped in a never-ending cycle of what ifs and whys until we want to scream into a pillow out of frustration.

After hearing this simple advice, I've taken to putting as much conscious effort as possible into following it. Whether it be a bad day at work or a misunderstanding with a friend, as my mind replays conversations and experiences in my head, constantly trying to figure out a better way these situations could have been handled, I stop whatever I'm doing and I remind myself to sh. Within this sh, I know that what I'm really telling myself is this: there is nothing you can do to change the past, and there is no point dwelling on what you have no control over anymore. I will not stop saying this to myself until my brain finally caves in and occupies itself with something else more productive. Most of the time, this takes a lot of time and energy to do, and nearly all of the time I just want to give up trying and accept that I'm going to be thinking about these negatives scenarios in my head all night long. But if I'm going to help better my mental health, I have to stick with it without giving in.

As I've been working hard at not giving in to my own negative thoughts, I've realized that these negative thoughts have been less frequently occurring, and slowly replacing themselves with self-acceptance and positivity. You don't really realize that changes are happening to you while you struggle through trying not to overthink until you become aware that you amount of times you have to struggle through it start to become less frequent. Sure, all the time I would have spent dwelling on these negative thoughts are simply replaced with reminders to be kind to myself and accepting of what's happened, but if that means that overtime I'll spend less time drowning in the noise of my brain, it's worth it, isn't it? It gets me out of bed and out into the world, doing instead of just wishing. That's pretty profound, wouldn't you say?

So why call this article a piece on mindfulness if I haven't mentioned the word since the title, right? Well, the definition of mindfulness, as written by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, describes it as: the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis. The sh method is a stepping stone in a journey toward mindfulness, whether you're conscious of it or not. Mindfulness doesn't mean that all of your negative thoughts are unwelcome or unproductive, either. It leads you down a path of self-understanding and self-acceptance, and allows to you see how to use those thoughts in productive ways, helping you to better yourself and your life. This is something that is truly life-altering.

I don't claim to have a mind that is constantly flowing with positive energy, or one that doesn't contain judgement over my own actions. This method is something that I still work hard at doing every day just so that, more often than not, my mind is flowing with positivity. It requires constant diligence and hard-work, but the pay-off is something that words can't even begin to describe. My advice, if you're thinking this is something that you might like to try, is to not give up right away. Give it time, give it your best effort, and remind yourself that it's okay not to be okay. We all struggle, and we all feel trapped in our mind sometimes. Hopefully this will make you feel like you aren't so alone anymore, either.

And after all this, all I can do is be thankful that by some kind of divine intervention, I was able to hear the words that would, in some ways, change my life. I'm thankful for people like Chris Evans who aren't afraid of speaking out about mental health, because when those conversations happen, people find the courage within themselves to share their own experiences. This, in effect, changes the world. So how about it? Let's get talking.

(here's the video if you wanted to check it out!)

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

5 Couples Get Real About Canceling Their Dream Weddings Because Of COVID-19

"It definitely reinforced that as long as we have each other, we can make it through anything together."

1688
Courtesy of Georgia & Mike Bernstein

There isn't one person the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn't affected. While COVID-19 is risking everyone's physical health, it's also destroying the world's economy and personal finances, weakening mental health, wreaking havoc on education... and, well, the list goes on.

Among the many things being impacted is love.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

A Couple's Wedding In Peru Was Postponed By COVID-19, But A Lifetime Of Love Is Worth The Wait

"We'd prefer to wait and have the wedding that both of us have always thought of."

1131
Courtesy of Rory Semple

During their first semester at Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School) while working on graduate degrees in Madrid, Spain, soon-to-be-newlyweds Rory and Gigi met when they were placed in a workgroup together — and the rest was history. Now, four years after their relationship began, the couple's fall plans to get married in Perú, where Gigi is originally from, have since been postponed by COVID-19.

Though things haven't always been easy for the pair because of immigration, starting a skincare business together, and now, canceling their dream wedding because of the pandemic, they have always worked together as a team (maybe we should all be in a workgroup with our future spouses).

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

A Bumble Couple's Wedding Was Canceled By COVID-19, But Nothing Could Come Between This Perfect Match

"The whole purpose of all the stress and time and tears was that we love each other and that was all that mattered."

1131
Courtesy of Shanna and Kaihla

Shortly after Kaihla's sister made her a dating profile on Bumble (despite her fear of being catfished), she matched with Shanna, and their chemistry was quickly undeniable. So much so that only a month and a half into dating, Shanna told her best friend "I think I'm going to marry her," and eventually, the nonprofit worker and elementary PE teacher duo proved this to be true.

In the fourth episode of a new docuseries called "Pandemic Weddings" by SoulPancake, the couple opens up about how they met, the difficulties of canceling a non-refundable wedding of their dreams (that took a year and a half to plan), as well as the pain of having family members who didn't support their marriage use the pandemic as a convenient excuse not to come.

Keep Reading... Show less
Bobbie Hall

This fall was my boyfriend and I's two-year anniversary! In the past for special occasions, we've typically gone out for a movie and dinner or just did something fun in general. However, in the year of COVID, we didn't really feel safe doing something like that.

Instead, we wanted to try something new that kept us significantly more socially distanced. Luckily, I found a TikTok trend a few months ago that gave me the perfect idea! The Target TikTok trend blew up all over for couples and friends alike. It seemed like a fun activity for us but also a good way to get each other gifts that we might not have thought about.

Keep Reading... Show less

If there's one thing everyone's talking about right now, it's voting — in real life, on social media, and yes, even on dating apps.

And rightfully so! Because is there really anything sexier than someone who cares about using their voice to be the change they want to see? In my opinion, no... not much, honestly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tai Adaya

Any medium- to dark-skinned woman knows how difficult it can be to find the right SPF. Most mass-market SPF products are catered to lighter skin tones, and the potent UV-blocking titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have a way of leaving an unflattering white or grey cast on the skin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Fall Fashion Trends Every Stylish Closet Needs This 2020 — Here Are Options For EVERY Budget

Whether you're on a budget or willing to splurge, you can attain the perfect fall wardrobe with these pieces!

649

Even if the only time you're leaving the house is to go to the grocery store, I'm a firm believer in getting dressed up to make yourself feel better. With these trends, your Insta feed (and followers) will be thanking you.

Keep Reading... Show less

We finally got a more in-depth look into the upcoming Disney+ Marvel series 'WandaVision' during the 2020 Emmy Awards. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany revive their roles as Wanda Maximoff and Vision from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this brand new trailer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Talked To Nikki Pebbles About PCOS-Friendly Workouts, And Low-Impact Is The Key

Hormone health impacts everything, including the workouts that are best for you.

13174

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) deal with a lot of uncertainty in their life. Between hormonal ups and downs, unpredictable weight gain, painful cyst ruptures, and infertility worries, their bodies are often under a lot of stress! A common symptom of PCOS is having a hard time losing weight — many women find themselves frustrated (or in pain) from traditional workout plans.

I sat down with Nikki Pebbles, a certified personal trainer and group fitness coach, to talk about the kind of workouts that are best for women who are dealing with PCOS.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments