The Process of Mindful Thinking

The Process of Mindful Thinking

Here comes a thought that might alarm you.
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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “mindfulness” can be defined as, more or less, being aware of your own thoughts, emotions, and experiences on a moment-to-moment scale or basis. In other words, being mindful in thinking enables a person to think about and observe how certain thoughts and experiences affects how they behave and what they can do to feel better about anything that bothers them. The more mindful a person becomes in their thinking, the easier it becomes to cope with and handle themselves.

In my experiences, I’ve noticed how many people don’t actually participate in mindful thinking. When someone is upset or angry from anything that bothers them, reactions vary from person to person. The initial common reaction, however, tends to lean towards being extremely upset about something and maybe even temporarily shutting it out to focus on other things. Others who might have a hard time dealing with emotions in the first place might completely shut down and find it hard to actually find a solution. This, of course, is definitely not a healthy way of dealing with any sort of problem, whether it be intrusive thoughts or a situation that causes you to get upset with yourself or someone else. Even I admit, I am guilty of practicing unhealthy ways of coping with my emotions towards certain situations as I unintentionally gravitate towards this unhealthy way of dealing with my emotions due to the sole fact that I can’t cope at all sometimes.

So what’s the best way to react when you don’t want to think about how bad it can feel? How can we, as individuals, aim towards a better way of thinking so that we can also help those around us as well as ourselves with the methods of mindful thinking? The answer isn’t as hard as it might seem to be and can even be conveyed in such a way where even a child can understand how to cope with situations that can cause pain.

In a recent episode of “Steven Universe” (and yes, I am somehow finding myself writing about this show again), Steven and another character, Connie, work together in figuring out how to cope with the problems that are bothering them. These thoughts keep making their fusion Stevonnie fall apart easily because of how troubled they both are. In the best way possible, this episode, like many other episodes in this TV show’s past, was able to portray how to stay mindful about the thoughts and emotions that plagues each character’s mind through song. This song, while being a super catchy tune, highlights some of the most important aspects of mindful thinking that it made me pretty darn emotional just thinking about my own problems and insecurities. Here is the song in question:

From just the song and visuals alone, it is really easy to see how much of an impact the lyrics have on the premise of mindful thinking. As Garnet sings to Stevonnie, little white butterflies appear, eventually surrounding the characters. It can easily be interpreted that these individual butterflies represent the thoughts that plague each character's minds based on past experiences they might be trying to suppress, which is the perfect way to portray them.

Garnet ultimately shows how in order for you to not feel bad about a thought, the best way to cope is to think about how bad it hurts from just one thought. Eventually, after acknowledging your feelings and even what you might have done to someone or something, the next step is to realize that your situation and things in the present moment might seem scary now, but you are definitely going to be okay. It's also really important to acknowledge the positive aspect of loved ones helping and being a part of recovery. As bad as something may seem, you're definitely not alone and even if it might look like a situation or problem is going to break a relationship with someone you know, it's not going to happen. It's best to look and realize that no, this situation is not going to tear away a relationship and they're here with you too.

With the way this episode conveyed mindfulness in such a simple way, it's even got me thinking about how I can utilize this method of staying in the present moment as a way to help me cope with my own emotions. Instead of thinking and picking at every little thing that bothers me, this song has got me viewing my problems in such a way where I can think to myself, "It's going to be okay because I'm here."

Though this way of thinking might seem a little overwhelming at first because you're quite literally hitting the core of your thoughts or problems, but rest assured there is nothing to worry about because here you are in the present moment and you're doing amazing.

You are living, you are here, and you've got nothing to fear.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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