Boozy to Butterfly

The Power of an Abundant Mindset

August 17, 2021 This Brain of Mine Episode 22
Boozy to Butterfly
The Power of an Abundant Mindset
Chapters
Boozy to Butterfly
The Power of an Abundant Mindset
Aug 17, 2021 Episode 22
This Brain of Mine

When you're able to retrain your brain to focus on the abundance in your life it allows you to live with more gratitude despite your circumstances. And when you live with more gratitude, you feel happier and more at peace without having to control the universe. Abundance and gratitude lead to a life with less coping and more joy for living. And what does less coping mean? Less overdrinking.

Looking for more support on your stop overdrinking journey? Head over to https://thisbrainofmine.com/stopoverdrinking to sign up for my free 10-day training course. 

If you're ready for private coaching, email me at [email protected]

Show Notes Transcript

When you're able to retrain your brain to focus on the abundance in your life it allows you to live with more gratitude despite your circumstances. And when you live with more gratitude, you feel happier and more at peace without having to control the universe. Abundance and gratitude lead to a life with less coping and more joy for living. And what does less coping mean? Less overdrinking.

Looking for more support on your stop overdrinking journey? Head over to https://thisbrainofmine.com/stopoverdrinking to sign up for my free 10-day training course. 

If you're ready for private coaching, email me at [email protected]

Episode 22: The Power of an Abundant Mindset

Welcome to episode 22 everyone! So this week, I’m going to talk about the power of an abundance mentality which is simply put, gratitude. Being thankful for all things and saying thank you. Creating an abundant mindset is not something you can do overnight. It takes, like so many things I discuss, repetition. It takes training your brain to live with gratitude and see the abundance rather than the lack or the deprivation. 

And that lack starts with and ends with that brain and those little voices in your head that sometimes stay in your head for your ears only and sometimes you say them out loud. But, as humans, we’re constantly observing all the negative things in our lives. It’s the defeatist perspective, the victim mentality. And you may not even realize how negative you can be. In fact, you likely are not truly aware how negative you are! No one really thinks of themselves as a negative person. I’m sure you know someone who is negative. I’m sure you’ve complained about someone in your life who is really negative. But have you questioned how negative you really are? 

Maybe this podcast will bring more awareness into how negative you are at times. You see, your negativity can be happening unconsciously, below your cognitive thinking. You don’t really see yourself doing it, you think you’re just observing the world factually. You think you’re just making an observation. You’re not out to find everything wrong with your day or your partner or child but those little voices are informing you of all that’s wrong or all that needs to change in order to make you feel better. And it can lead to living in a victim mentality. Feeling at the mercy of all the suckiness in your life, things you can’t control and can’t change but you’re subjected to. It adds to a feeling of helplessness and misery and suffering.

And when you focus only on the lack you become depressed and when you don’t see the glass half-full, you see it empty and then you’re dying of thirst. You feel desperate, inadequate, like you’re fighting an uphill battle, you’re exhausted and drained and you feel very disconnected from whatever your bigger purpose in life is supposed to be. You feel very disconnected from yourself which leads to general anxiety and overall unexplained dissatisfaction.

But you can start with just creating an awareness around your negativity and your victim mentality. What awareness does is moves your little negative voice from unconscious to conscious. Catch your little voice with phrases like “I can’t” or “I don’t like this or that” or “Why can’t this or they be different” and “this sucks” or “it’s unfair” or “if only” and “this is too hard.” So many natural phrases are negatively skewed. Your brain is always looking for danger and therefore it’s natural to see things and people as threats, but they’re not threats. Well, some people are and some circumstances are but I’m talking on the regular. On a daily basis with all things you encounter, you’re not being threatened but your negative brain is finding the threats in everything. That’s pretty normal so don’t judge yourself on this.

And once you start building an awareness around the language you’re using, around this negativity, you’ll realize it’s a choice. Once it moves to your cognitive brain, you have the power to change it. You have the power to evaluate it and rather than the snap, negative judgment you can see a bigger story. You can see this may not be all negative. You can see there are many positives and in fact, probably more positives than negatives. Even in situations that don’t go as you’d like them to go, you can challenge yourself to see how this might serve you. Challenge your brain to find that there may be something bigger and better in the future from this thing that is happening right now.

This can release you from the feeling that you need to change everything around you. It can release you from feeling like you need to control the universe. It also can spark the creative muscle in your brain which may be underutilized. Imagination and creativity are very healing parts of the brain.

But when you’re living on autopilot and listening to that negative voice and the negative rhetoric, your deprived life feels factual, like it is what it is. And what you put your focus on becomes your reality. So if you’re murmuring negative phrases and negative responses, your life is going to feel negative, it’s your perception of your surroundings. It is your biased evaluation of your life. On autopilot you’re not evaluating your thoughts and questioning your beliefs. You believe your thoughts to be the truth and binary reality.

So once you lift the veil on those thoughts by first becoming aware of them and then bringing them into consciousness, you can start to question them and be curious about if they’re really true. You can inquire and be curious to evaluate if there is ANYTHING else that could be true about this thought. Is there anything here that you can be grateful for? Is there anything here that could possibly serve a purpose for you, your life, or the greater good in general?

One trick you can use to think less negatively is to reframe your mind to share what you do like about its opposite. So rather than focusing on what you don’t want, you can focus on what you do want. Rather than saying you don’t like chocolate, you can focus on that you do like strawberry or vanilla. When you find out something that you don't want or you don't like, don't focus on it. There is no upside. Focus on what you do want and what you do like. Notice the things that you say. Pay attention and ask people to call you out when you’re being negative.

The more often you can hear the negativity, the more opportunity to change it. And once you have awareness of how blessed you really are, you really don’t need anything else to live a wonderful life. Not a perfect life, but a wonderful life. When you take any adversity, you feel or experience you perceive as negative and flip it on its head, although nothing is really changing, you CAN feel more in control of your universe because you feel more in control of you and your perception. 

When you can change your perception, you can change your life. And the simple and powerful exercise of training your brain to see the abundance rather than the deprivation is all it can take to vastly improve your same circumstances. This is important so let me repeat it. Your same circumstances can be lived with either abundance and gratitude or deprivation and negativity. It’s your choice.

It's important to remember that the brain is always scanning for evidence of what it already believes. It's always scanning and filtering based on what it believes. If it believes that the world is bad, it will see the bad. If it believes it's good, it will find the good. What does this mean? Well, it means negativity begets negativity. Listen to what you say out loud and add to a conversation because it can set the tone of your environment and feedback.

If you have someone come into your space and say, "Oh my gosh. I can't believe this terrible weather. Did you notice how much traffic there was?" Now, that seems pretty innocent. It seems like they’re just making an observation about the day, just pointing out the traffic. But they could have easily said, "Wow, I bet the grass is loving this rain. I’m grateful people were driving cautiously" But think about the tone in the room with each conversation. Where do these conversations go from here? Think about the tone you set in the spaces you go and the tone in your mind with your thoughts.

There is always something good to find but you have to train your brain to see it and say it. And when you feel like your circumstances are abundant and you live with gratitude you don’t need coping tools. You don’t NEED alcohol as a coping tool. 

The censorship and numbing chemical properties that alcohol provides are not needed because you see the wonder in your life and the many gifts all around you. The opposite starts to take hold and become true where you don’t want to numb your brain and you don’t want to alter your mind’s reality because the reality is pretty damn good.

Training your brain to take an inventory of the abundance before you is a matter of repetition. But you can start with simple mental exercises of taking inventory of what is good in your life. If you like to write, you can keep a gratitude journal. If you don’t like to write you can just mentally practice finding the good in life, in people, in circumstances.

And realizing that people aren’t all bad or all good and circumstances aren’t all bad and all good is a great first step. I can dislike something about someone but also really appreciate something about that same person. I can hate a circumstance but also see the silver lining or the good, too. Your brain is trained to only see how something can be improved or how something is adversely affecting your life or your plans but the more often you can focus on the silver lining, the better your life will become.

Everything in life, including the people we have relationships with is really subjective meaning they’re influenced by their experiences, tastes, opinions, and feelings. I might look at the pandemic as a positive thing if my life changed in ways that I prefer. Others may look at the pandemic as insufferable if their lives changed in ways they don’t prefer. Humans are self-centered creatures by nature. It’s the same event, the pandemic, but one person sees it as a positive and another person sees it as negative. This is true of nearly everything in life and the great news is, you can choose which way you want to look at things. You can try and find that silver lining, you can allow the pandemic to have both good and bad. 

It’s important to consciously balance the mind and not inundate it with negativity. If you’re constantly reading negative news which seems to be all there is, your world is going to feel hopeless and scary and sad. And keep in mind, with machine learning and AI, anything you’re reading and searching is going to fill your results with more of what you’ve read and sought out. Your world and exposure become a smaller and smaller circle because your information is filtered to keep you interested and keep you clicking on content. 

Force your brain to find positive things in the news. Force your brain to take a break from the hype in the media. Use your consciousness to be aware of what you’re taking in and seek out balance. 

Give yourself the gift of turning off the TV and putting down your phone and going for a walk. Take a mindfulness or meditative stroll where you’re observing nature and how amazing it is. As I’m speaking on this podcast, I’m watching the hummingbirds in my backyard and I am always so amazed by them. They’re so fast and their movement is so elegant. Their wings flutter so fast there is an actual sound vibration you can hear when they buzz by your head. And they’re kinda aggressive to each other, too. They do little dances and battles sometimes over territory. 

I also try to have gratitude for nearly everything I see on my walks. The different leaf shapes and colors, the beauty of the endless rows of corn or soybeans in the country where I walk. The brilliant pinks and purples in the flowers, the sounds of the birds and water flowing in the river after a storm. It’s not a natural thing for my brain to do but I consciously force it.

But when you’re taking a break from life, whether it’s a walk or just eating lunch, practice gratitude and saying thank you. Be amazed at how this lunch came to be on your plate including the fields in which the food was grown and the people who took the time to grow it and harvest it. How the food then got transported and packaged to end up in the location you bought it. All the humans involved in the process to get that food on your plate. Mother Nature’s roll in allowing that food to be grown or allowing that animal to be born and fed. Have gratitude. 

The abundance mentality allows your brain to focus on the collective whole and the community in which you live. No man is an island and you have to rely on others as they have to rely on you, too. This world works because of everything we do everyday that often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. So what if you started by appreciating everything that others do? What if you made yourself a promise that every day you were going to say 10 things you were grateful for this day before you fall asleep? What if you made that your nightly or morning ritual?

I like to fall asleep thinking about all that I’m grateful for and almost every night it starts with gratitude for my bed and pillow. Once you get started it’s really easy to start listing the abundance in your life. The roof over your head, the pets who bring joy, the partner that for even all the grief you may feel, you’re still grateful for…the air conditioning or heating you enjoy; the ability to go for a walk because one day you won’t; the ability to hear the birds so clearly because one day you won’t; the thankfulness for whatever challenges came your way that day and the ability to overcome them. 

There’s so much power in an abundant mindset, it just takes awareness through consciousness to start this practice and repetition to make it stick. I believe I’ve recommended the book Simple Abundance before, too. It’s also a great place to start training your brain to live with gratitude and find the power in an abundance mentality.