I do not know about you, but truthfully, there are few moments in a day when I am focused and meditating upon my blessings and abundance, compared to the many moments in a day when I am preoccupied by my thoughts and feelings of inadequacy and insufficiency. It is a behavior and thought pattern that has become more conspicuous since the introduction of the coronavirus and coincidentally where I currently am in this stage of my life. But does society not convince us so seamlessly that we do not have enough, or that we could do better, or that we do not measure up, or that we are not qualified. If not society, maybe our own thought-patterns of critiquing our actions and decisions or comparing where we are supposed to be versus where we currently are in life. I believe I am not the only one living with toxic thought-patterns plagued by the negative nagging voices that seem to be everywhere and anywhere.
Mentally, it is a tough place to be when you think and believe that you do not have options to choose what voice you listen to. It is a tragedy to be ignorant about ways to develop a better healthier mindset. Thankfully today, I want to delve into two daily practices that will help you develop a mindset of peace and abundance. It is time to stop permitting our worries to rob us of the blessings today.
The First Practice:
- Practice Intentional Thanksgiving and Gratitude
Now, I know what you are thinking: you have heard this before and this is old news. You have probably practiced this a couple times but did not experience the benefits and quit. However – news flash – you were most likely doing this incorrectly. I want to stress the word “intentional.” I do not mean writing casually in your journal or posting on your Instagram (although not bad ideas).
What I mean by “intentional” is taking the time to still your being and genuinely listen to what you heart and spirit is thankful for in the moment. Please note that this will be near-impossible if you are of a quickened spirit (rushed, anxious, fearful etc.). There is a fine distinction between what you think you are thankful for and what your heart and spirit is thankful for. In yoga, the heart chakra is the “Anahata” Chakra which is characterized by emotions of love, trust, and passion1. The better you are able to harmonize and balance the heart chakra, the better the awareness of self and the relationships around you. The beautiful thing about this practice is it can be done anywhere as long as you are in a state of stillness.
Try This Method:
- Find a quiet environment, pay careful attention to your breath, and close your eyes.
- Take a couple comfortable breaths and settle in a restful/still state.
- Note when your heart and spirit are in agreement and resonate with the thought that flows by (try not to hold on to a thought if your heart and spirit are not in agreement). This can be something as simple as the gift of breath, or as extensive as meeting up with a friend and hearing their voice at a particular place.
- Express your thanksgiving and gratitude to either someone your trust or the person you are thankful for!
The Second Practice:
2. Practice Contrast Framing2
Think of this practice as a healthy comparison or comparison 2.0. We know that comparison kills contentment. Society makes it easy to compare our life and our achievements with someone else who is better/more ____ (fill in blank) than ourselves. You do not have to look far to realize this in action. However, comparison is inevitable which is why I do not simply suggest “stop comparing” because it is highly unrealistic and is setting yourself up for failure.
In fact, we all benefit in many ways from comparison – just not comparison with what disempowers us. I first heard of contrast frames when human behavior analyst, Peter Sage, gave this Ted Talk2. In his talk, he highlights how practicing contrast framing can help us – not harm us2. He gives the example: one day your boss calls you into his office and gives you a 10% pay raise. Then at lunch, you find out that your coworker (who has the same job as you), was given a 15% pay raise. You are immediately robbed of the pleasure of getting the 10% raise. You had nothing before but now you only have 10%. He quotes “the trick with contrast frames is to always contrast where you are with something that makes you empowered rather than disempowered.”2
Contrast framing helps us change the narrative of comparison. The more we convince ourselves with which narrative benefits us, the more we can live with the knowledge of our blessings. We have the power to choose to develop a healthier mindset – a mindset of abundance and peace.
Try This Method: acronym “AIR”
- Acknowledge: the next time you are tempted to compare yourself with someone else (qualifications, achievements, status etc.), acknowledge and identify the negative thought-pattern.
- Inquire: is this comparison going to empower me or disempower me?
- Replace: if a comparison is going to disempower you, think of the quality you are trying to compare and replace it with your version.
He has more certifications and experience than me.
- (Inquire) This is going to disempower me.
- (Replace) I have my own set of certifications that I did not have before, and I am currently gaining valuable experience in the company I am working for now.
My hope is that these two daily practices will help jump start your day with blessings, peace and abundance – not worries. I am excited for you to cultivate a meaningful and transformative life starting today! If you would like to reach out and connect with me over toxic mindsets, changing our narrative from comparison to contentment, or simply to chat, feel free to reach me via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi, I’m Joshua! I’m in the business of optimizing the health and wellness of motivated individuals. I took three years off before going to college. During that time I served in the military and police force, traveled, discovered my passions and interests, and developed my sense of identity. I’ve found that I thoroughly enjoy novel experiences and engaging with a variety of cultures. I believe that there are no limits to what you can experience as long as you stay laser curious. Currently, I’m pursuing a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. I’m a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, which enabled me to be a part of the growing movement of preventative healthcare and holistic living. Furthermore, I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and learning how creative business models can improve healthcare. I try my best to live an active lifestyle and engage my creative side through content creation. I’m also a contributing writer for Startup Island: The Business of Being Happy and Healthy. If you would like to connect with me, feel free to reach out via my social media platforms!
- Jain, Ram. “Complete Guide to Seven Chakras & Their Effects: Arhanta Yoga Blog.” Arhanta Yoga Ashram, 6 Apr. 2021, www.arhantayoga.org/blog/7-chakras-introduction-energy-centers-effect/.
- Sage, Peter. “How to Become Your Best When Life Gives You Its Worst” | Peter Sage | TEDxKlagenfurt.” YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 15 July. 2019, https://youtu.be/I4svF7J6MWg.