Editor’s Note: This post was originally written in March 2019 by a woman I met when I was visiting my alma mater, Miami University in Ohio. She pitched this subject to me and I was immediately enthralled with the concept. We have so little control over our worlds at the moment, but we still have the ability to control our thoughts and how they drive our actions. I felt that this was the perfect concept to share once more, especially with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching and looking, for many, very different this year than it has in the past.
Some of my best ideas come to me while driving, especially during those mindless drives down long, winding roads.
Recently, while driving to an unimportant, nameless destination, the concept of “thinking beautifully” came to me. Or rather, the intersection of the words “thinking” and “beautiful”. It struck me in a way that was both comforting and practical. Why do we always seek to find beauty externally rather than internally?
As soon as I reached my destination, I picked up my phone and Googled the phrase- just to see if anyone else cared so deeply about beautiful thinking. There were posts that defined what beautiful meant, but not specifically “thinking beautifully”. I found one article that came close, but not in the way that touched me so deeply and vividly as it had in the car.
What does “Thinking Beautifully” Mean
To me, I define “thinking beautifully” as seeking balance, positivity, and strength in our thoughts and goals. It is something that we all should to strive for, especially as much of this world is full of negativity and criticism. In a world full of negativity, we need to be nice to ourselves. And in efforts to create light in our own lives, we can create light for those around us.
After the conception of thinking beautifully, I determined that I must make a pact to myself to try to include it in my everyday life. Over the past few weeks since my revelation, I have devised a few methods that have assisted my journey- many of them are still works in progress.
Here’s how you can strive to think beautifully in your daily life, too.
How to Think Beautifully
Create a Life that Thrives in Balance
In efforts to add a sense of balance to my world, I have tried to find activities that create a stable presence in my life.
For me, yoga is a great way to find internal peace and balance, even in the middle of the busiest of days. I’ve specifically been enjoying aromatherapy yoga classes, which have been extremely beneficial to finding balance of senses- body, and mind. Certain scents can trigger positive emotions which ultimately serve as reminders to think positively.
Yoga is a great excuse to take a few minutes out of your normal schedule to get into a positive headspace. Yoga has allowed me to think beautifully by finding ways to substitute stress and other negative emotions for positive ones. In addition, it has allowed me to balance physical exercise with exercises of the mind.
In addition to physical balance, I have been trying to train myself to think in a way that creates equilibrium of thought. Specifically, I have found several categories of thought that can be a source of negativity into my life- Goals versus Reality, Beauty versus Practicality, and Social Media versus Real-World. To practice balance of thought, I have been making lists to better understand why certain topics can bring negativity into my life.
I have learned that to think beautifully, I need to become comfortable with the idea of moderation. Balance is not always strictly positive or negative- but an equal balance of the two. Understanding that I don’t need to completely envelope myself in any one thing means that I can put my needs first when necessary. It ends up that for me, moderation is key!
Focus on Positivity
People are always talking about ways to find positivity- but it can be difficult, especially when the world is telling us that the world thrives in action. Other than taking a few minutes out of each day to be mindful of my thinking, there are many other things I have been trying out to promote beautiful thinking.
Support Positive Media
Lately, I have been seeking different forms of media that promote and highlight positivity. For example, I have been listening to Kacey Musgraves’ album “Golden Hour”, which won several awards at the Grammys. She has experienced heartbreak, lack of inspiration, and self-confidence issues, all of which hold many of us back- including myself.
However, this album radiates positivity and creativity, which aligns tremendously with my goal of beautiful thinking. Books, television shows, and social media accounts can also be sources of positivity- it’s about finding media that promotes love, joy, and happiness. Reading blogs such as Semi-Sweet Tooth that thrive in authenticity help to remind me to focus on positive thought and remind me that I’m not alone in this journey.
Make a List of What Makes You Happy
In addition to making lists to find balance, I have also been making lists of things that make me feel happy or positive. This is a simple way to keep track of the little things in life, as well as creating a reminder to be thankful and positive every day. Some of the things that have made me feel happy lately: feeling full after a nice meal, clearing my email inbox, and crossing things off my to-do list.
Physical Fitness Helps to Develop Beautiful Thinking
Practice Mindfulness During Endurance Training
Oftentimes, I focus my energies on one task- either physical training or mental training, but the reality is that I can and should do both. When doing a physical activity, such as yoga or jogging, I choose to use that time to build my mental strength. Especially when working on endurance, there is a lot of time to practice mindfulness. I am constantly seeking to feel better physically, but correlating it to mental health means that my entire being is involved in thinking beautifully.
Embrace Your Flow Activities
Flow activities are those activities where our mind is actively engaged in a meaningful activity that challenges our abilities. Maybe a favorite athletic activity, or perhaps a mindfulness exercise like reading or meditating. These are activities that, when we’re in them, the world around us just fades away and we can live completely in the moment. Jessica wrote about methods to find your flow activities in this blog post.
Flow activities are especially beneficial because our entire mind, body, and spirit is involved in the spirit of thinking beautifully. We are living completely in the moment and welcome the beautiful, natural flow of life.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded Individuals
Beautiful thinking and strength can also come from those whom we surround ourselves with. Finding solidarity and peace within our companions- friends, partners, or family- is so important. Being aware of how others affect us is beautiful thinking, and it is part of having a strong mind. It has been said that you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with, so make sure that they are beautiful, loving, kind people as often as possible.
How Will You Bring Beautiful Thinking Into Your Life?
Sometimes simple thoughts can change your whole mindset towards life- beautiful thinking has assisted me in becoming more aware of those simple thoughts that drive big, positive change. I want to use beautiful thinking to become a better version of myself- because we can always be a bit nicer to ourselves.
It’s not always easy, but beautiful thinking is a simple switch that has helped me to grow through obstacles and come out stronger on the other side, as well as helping me to live out each day more positively. I often think of it as a flower growing after a wildfire or a storm: first it must grow its roots, then it can reach for the surface. Eventually, like the beautiful flower, we can grow to help show others the power in having a beautiful mind.
Beautiful thinking comes from balance, positivity, and strength- it is a constant, intentional practice that helps us to become better support ourselves and those we love. So, how will you incorporate beautiful thinking into your daily life?
Creat a great life!