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seeking positive thinking and mindfulness


In the past few years, I’ve grown quite interested in the concept of mindfulness and positive thinking. Like many of us, I was exposed to this wellness trend through social media. Almost overnight, ads about meditation apps, self-help books, bloggers advocating the power of crystals and new yoga techniques started flooding my feed. Even though the trend had been around for some time (and many of these practices are actually ancient), it was a new world for me, one I was eager to explore. At first, I was wary about it because it felt as if someone was always just trying to sell me something; in addition to this, I didn’t like the fact that everything was so perfectly and idyllically portrayed, as if a yoga session could magically solve all your problems. Despite everything, because I was interested in this different approach to life, I decided to study the matter by myself and I started doing my own research to start my journey.

ここ数年、私は*マインドフルネスと**ポジティブシンキングの概念に強く興味を持ってきた。多くの人が経験したように、私はSNSを通じてこの「健康」というトレンドに晒され、ほぼ一晩で、瞑想アプリや自己啓発本、クリスタルの効き目について語るブロガー、新しいヨガのテクニックなどに関する広告で、私のフィードはいっぱいになった。このトレンドは、しばらく前からあったけど、私にとっては新しい世界だった。(実際にこういった習慣の多くは昔から行われていたことがほとんど。) 最初は、誰かが私に何かを売ろうとしているように感じて、警戒したの。そして「ヨガのレッスンに参加することで自分の今ある問題を魔法のように解決できます」と言われているかのように、全てがとても素朴で完璧に見せられていたのが気に食わなかった。こう思ったにも関わらず、私は今までとは違った人生に対するアプローチに興味を持っていたから、自分自身でマインドフルネスを学んでみることに決めた。そして私は自分の旅を始めるために、まずは自分でリサーチを始めました。

*マインドフルネス = 今現在において起こっている経験に注意を向ける心理的な過程であり、瞑想およびその他の訓練を通じて発達させることができる。

**ポジティブシンキング = なんでも前向きに物事を考えればそれは実現し、人生はうまくいく、という考え方、物事の良い面を見ようと努め、ポジティブな姿勢を保ち、「思考そのもの」を変えることで現実を変えることを目指す思考法。

One of the reasons why I was so attracted to positivity and mindfulness is because they support a lifestyle different from the fast and disconnected way of living which characterises modern life. I always found it so interesting (and sad) that we live in a time where happiness seems so unreachable despite the rise of living standards and overall prosperity. The hopelessness that such a large portion of the population feels is due to several factors such as the desire of owning more material goods, financial insecurity, changes in family and community life determined by processes such as the development of big cities and a new emphasis on individual achievements created by social media. We live in a society obsessed with the idea of leading a perfect life, we’re constantly looking for gadgets and/or activities that we think will make us feel good, as we are pressured by the belief that there’s always room for improvement. This restless quest has no end, and we’re left insatiably searching for something better.


Mindfulness is an ancient practice that was popularized in Western countries during the second half of the 20th century. It is still used nowadays to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It is often defined as the state of being aware of who we are and what we are doing, which can be summed up as living in the present rather than worrying about the past or the future. Even though it’s an innate human ability, one can develop and train mindfulness through a variety of exercises based on meditation, a practice that allows one to let go of what is going on around and beyond them, letting them enter a state of calmness and quietness of the mind. Often associated with these practices are positive thinking and positive visualization. The former consists of approaching unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way by focusing on the best that may happen, not the worst. The latter is based on the natural visualization process that takes place in the brain and the argument that being able to do something in your head greatly increases the chances of being able to do it in real life.


*視覚化(ビジュアライゼーション) = 目に見えない抽象的なことを見てわかるような形に示すこと。また、自分の心・頭のなかに対象、事象の映像をつくること。直接見ることのできない事柄や現象、関係性などをイメージすること。

However, it’s easier said than done. When I turned to meditation, my aim was to find a balance and to connect with my inner self. As I first started practicing I was positively shocked by the impact that meditation was having on my life; in fact, I was able to reach points of calmness and clarity of mind that I’ve never experienced before. Nevertheless, if I have to be honest, my journey has not been a steady one. I’ve always struggled with practicing meditation on a regular basis -- on some days the mere idea of sitting down and staying still sounds so exhausting (illogical, I know) whereas on other days it’s the first thing I look forward to do in the morning. In addition to this, because I’ve been alone on my journey, I’m often insecure about what I’m doing and if I’m doing it correctly. As I mentioned before, I mostly educated myself by watching videos and documentaries and by reading books. Without a guide or a mentor, I’ve been struggling to find a balance; I’m either very aware of my consciousness or extremely disconnected from it. My goal for the next few months is definitely to improve my consistency. Meditation is an exercise that has to be practiced on a regular basis in order for it to be effective. In fact, one thing I’m sure of is that when I practiced meditation regularly I noticed a lot of benefits: I felt more grounded, I was more relaxed, my anxiety levels plummeted and I could deal better with stressful situations.


It’s important to remember that the positive attitude that can be achieved through the cultivation of mindfulness and positive thinking has to be counterbalanced by a realist approach to life. Otherwise, there is a risk of being derailed when met with the smallest of problems. I think that the ultimate goal is to be able to see the glass half full and still know what to do when it’s half empty.


My journey with mindfulness and positivity hasn’t been an easy one but despite all, I think it’s worth a try if you’re really interested in this approach to life because at the end of the day, the benefits pay off all the effort put in the practice. What about you, have you ever practiced meditation? Did you find it difficult or easy? Do you think it’s helpful for your everyday life?


瞑想について、モデルの長谷川潤ちゃんのPodcast『glenwood “HEART TO HEART”』で瞑想についての回があったので、ぜひ聴いてみてね。とても興味深いです。

第6回 The Power of Meditation | Guest: 水谷洋子

Images by Elisa

English Edited by Kiara

Japanese Translated by Hikari

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