Welcome to day 5 of our mindfulness series. Today I want to talk about the thoughts we fill our minds with. Think about it, on a daily basis, how many of your thoughts are helpful to you and how many are not? I wish it were as easy as good thoughts vs bad thoughts, but even things we consider to be good can actually turn out to be unhelpful to us and others.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
“Attitudes are the soil in which your mindfulness practices grow tall and strong. A rich, nutritious soil nourishes the seed of mindfulness and ensures that it grows well. Each time you practice mindfulness, you water the seed, giving it care and attention. However, if that soil deteriorates through unhelpful attitudes, then the young seedling will begin to wither. A plant needs regular watering to grow – a lack of care and attention results in it perishing.” Shamash Alidina
Reframe your challenges
We all face challenges in our life and how we interpret them helps determine how we handle the situation. Learning to find something positive in a challenge can help you face the reality of the situation without developing negative attitudes such as anger, bitterness, revenge, and spitefulness.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Maintain a vocabulary of positive words
If your vocabulary consists of a lot of negative words, there’s a good chance you might be a negative person. Being a negative person doesn’t mean that you aren’t nice, but it certainly shows your outlook. Do the following negative words frequently make its way into your thoughts and words: stupid, boring, dumb, annoying, WTF?, so slow, and never/always? Change takes time, but as you practice daily mindfulness, you’ll become more aware of your negative vocabulary and then you’ll be able to replace them with positive words.
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26
Learn to handle rejection
Rejection is common and you experience it more often than you might be aware. When you are rejected, be attentive to how you feel and your reactions. Be truthful with yourself about how you are feeling. If you can’t accept that you are feeling angry, worthless, and unimportant, then you’ll have a difficult time addressing the rejection. Pay attention to your body, have you become tense, weak, or has your breathing changed? Physical change is a great indicator of how you are feeling.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1: 19-20
- Revisit the Daily Examen exercises from Day 4.
- Afterwards, without self-judgment or criticism ask yourself how this experience was for you.