We have all learnt about number lines in our schools and might have solved numerous problems around it. I stretched the knowhow a bit further to make my teenager understand how our thoughts impact our minds.
Off late, he seems to have become overly critical and focuses more on what went wrong rather than being grateful for what went well. However, when I pondered over, I realized it was the same for all of us.
To circumvent the old thinking pattern and increase mindfulness, I deviced a small activity that me and my son do when we go together for our morning walk. Whenever I feel he is focusing more on the issues rather than being mindful of the blessings, I ask him to imagine a number line and plot his thoughts/statements on the positive or negative side of the number line.
Thereafter, I ask him to keep a count of how many times in the day, he had placed his thoughts on the left side of the number line. Together, we calculate how many seconds/minutes of the beautiful day, we have lost focusing on the negative, unable to hold on to the gift that life is.
This reminds me of the thoughts of my favourite speaker, Gaur Gopal Das and one of his videos. He says that when something tiny such as a sprig of coriander gets stuck in our tooth while having a meal, our tongue keeps reaching out for feeling and trying to remove the irritating, yet harmless sprig of coriander rather than other teeth that are perfectly clean. He calls it the “Missing tooth syndrome“.
The same is the nature of our mind. We tend to stay longer in the “something went wrong” moments and just whiz past the ones that light up our soul and make our day. However, being mindful, if we can spend more time thinking about the good things at the end of the day and being grateful for the wonderful gift of life, we may probably be less stressed and raise happier and content teenagers. Think about it!