Get Through Today

When understanding a wicked problem, your mind is going to have many thoughts along with heart and bodily reactions. Wicked problems affect everyone in a different way including the mind, emotionally, heart and somatically body. Before taking the class of wicked problems I didn’t even know what a wicked problem was or anything about mindfulness practices.

    When learning about these wicked problems I have learned that I need to fully open up my mind and cut out any distractions to fully comprehend about the problem. I believed I would be able to hear these problems and solve them super easily when in relation these social or cultural problems are not that easy easy to solve and sometimes seem impossible. When trying to learn these problems it is even hard thinking of just where to start. I believe when learning about a wicked problem you should not try to solve it right away. I think you should open your mind and body and learn as much as you can about that problem and do some research on ways others have tried to solve it. A lot of the times when trying to solve these wicked problems you run into another problem as a ripple effect from one problem to another. There are many different kinds of wide problems that people all over the word are trying to fix and find solutions to. These problems are usually poverty, climate change, education, homelessness and even sustainability. When trying to solve one of these wicked problems I usually have a hard time coming up with a solution or even little things to help. I like to learn as much about the problem as I can and then sleep on it for a few nights and see if anything comes to mind. If I still haven’t found a solution or any little ideas to help, I then go on talking about these problems with my roommates or parents and get their opinions on these problems. By getting their opinions It usually helps me to come up with Ideas on what to help or to fix. I find it easier to understand these wicked problems when I really spend a lot of time doing research and thinking about them. 

    When I learned we were going to do mindfulness practices in this class I seriously laughed out loud. When thinking of meditation my brain goes to crossed legs, eyes closed and humming with your hands on your knees. When learning about these mindfulness practices in class I thought I was going to be falling asleep every time I closed my eyes. We have the option to choose to keep our eyes open or closed. We have the option to cross our legs or sit normally in the chair, we even have the option to participate or not participate if you really think about it. I really enjoy being able to choose my own ways of learning about these practices. By being able to choose all of these options for myself it helps to ensure that myself and every other person in the classroom is completely comfortable while doing these practices. About a week ago I was walking to my English class and just thinking through things in my mind while walking around. I never realized this before but now I realize, every time I go to class and I walk in silence and I’m just thinking things through my mind, that is technically a mindfulness practice without even realizing I was doing it. When you shower in silence and let all of the thoughts in your mind go rapidly, that is technically a practice of mindfulness practices as well. All of those thoughts throughout your day when there is silence and you are just thinking, don’t stop yourself just let it happen. If you do not let all of these thoughts out of your head or even just think about them, one day your brain is going to be so packed and overall stressed out you are going to want to just scream and cry. 

    This year was an amazing year to learn about mindfulness practices when trying to think of solutions or even just interpreting these wicked problems. When practicing these mindfulness practices I never thought they would have such a big effect on me until now. This year has been extremely stressful and a lot of the time I hold in my emotions and try to not let my friends and family see. By becoming fully aware of myself during these practices It has helped me in so many countless ways. Before starting these mindfulness practices my mind seemed to be overtaken by anxiety a lot of the time. I would find myself none stop playing with my hair when stressed, biting my lips and even counting my steps as I walk. Instead of taking anti anxiety pills like I used to, I decided I wanted to try and put the matter in my own hands and take control of my mind. By fully being part of these mindfulness practices I found myself less stressed and even my anxiety is not as bad. When I have a rush of these thoughts with anxiety and things I find it best to breathe and take a minute to pull myself together. I then take a seat and relax and close my eyes. When sitting there I let my mind go through all of the thoughts in my head. I then take a minute to relax and have no thoughts and just sit in silence focusing on my breath and relaxation. When starting this mindfulness practice I saw a little bit of a difference in my mental health but I wanted to take this to another level to see what it could do for me. I wanted to see what I could do with this. I thought maybe dressing comfier or lighting a candle could help me to relax. While being in a dorm room having complete silence is hard due to having 3 roommates. Being in a dorm I am also not allowed to have candles. Since I cannot have candles I resolved to use essential oils to really make my body and mind fully relaxed. 

    From going to thinking that mindfulness practice is a joke and thinking  Wicked problems are just crazy problems in the world. I am super excited to say I feel that I understand all of the components of a wicked problem. I finally understand what it is and how hard and complex they are to solve. Learning about these wicked problems should be something that everyone should do at least one in their lives. By learning about these, I find myself using less water, picking up any trash on the floor I see and even not buying from these fast fashion companies that produce all of this textile pile up. Another realization I have come to by learning about these wicked problems, is how tiny and small and easy other problems in my life now seem. It is almost easier to find solutions to these tiny problems after learning about all of these wicked problems and realizing how complicated they are. 

    This year my roommates and I found out that our dorm was infested with black mold. We also had been put in a dorm room with 3 different leaks. We were told by maintenance that we were going to have to move out for a couple weeks or so, so that they could get these leaks fixed and clean out the black mold. This was super stressful because we moved out on a Tuesday while having classes all day, freshman follies practice at night and even homework to do. All of us had been sick for weeks since moving in and we figured out it was the black mold. That week was insanely stressful as we moved in until 3am. I had to wake up at 8am for class. My roommate and I were all so stressed so I had the idea of meditating all together to relax our minds and de stress ourselves a little bit. After I helped teach them a little bit of this meditation we all felt way more relaxed and nobody was as stressed as before. I believe by doing this mindfulness practice all of our moods changed from grumpy and a little more relaxed, light and feeling good. My roommates agreed with me when I suggested we should meditate every Sunday together. By all of us doing this on Sundays it helps to open and relax our minds beyond. While even drawing us closer to each other as friends. After our meditation process we go through and talk to each other about what we are stressing about or even problems we don’t know how to solve. 

    In conclusion, mindfulness practices have affected my life just like coming to college this year. My stress, anxiety and worries have never been so low since beginning these practices. Since my roommates now participate with me in these practices I feel closer to them and hope to continue this practice throughout my life. I feel that learning about all of these wicked problems has very much impacted my life for the better. Even just being aware of these problems is something that is going to help with finding a solution or tying to help the bigger picture one day. 

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