Life can be tough. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. It can feel sometimes like no matter how much money we make or how successful we are, or even, sometimes, how BROKE we are, that we never feel like we have enough. Or that we could lose everything tomorrow.
Been there? There now? Read on.
This sense of scarcity can have all sorts of effects on both our psyche and our outlook on life. It can cause oodles of stress, a me-against-the-world type of mentality, and even a stinginess with ourselves and the people we love.
A feeling of scarcity – of not having enough – can really close us down. Can shut us off from the enormous bounty life has in store for us.
I know, I’ve been there. It can be really brutal. Let’s not be too hard on ourselves.
So how do we change this mentality so we can create a sense of safety, of contentment, of abundance in our lives? An abundance that leads to greater generosity with ourselves and others, as well positive effects in both our personal lives and our careers?
Here is a list of a few simple things you can do, starting RIGHT NOW even, to create a sense of abundance in YOUR life:
- Set out a fruit bowl. Fill a bowl with fruits and/or vegetables and put it on your kitchen counter or kitchen table. It might sound a little weird, but seeing a bowl filled with food can not only add color and organic life to your home (which has positive mental effects in and of itself) but also remind you that you DO have enough. You have enough to eat, at least. And that’s something. And the best part is – fruits and veggies are cheap! Buy something seasonal and plentiful, buy a pound of bananas for 44 cents or whatever they are. The type and cost of the fruits and veggies don’t matter. It’s all about the fact that they’re there.
- Make a list of everything you have. As you write them down – and yes, I suggest you physically write them – I bet your hand will start to feel a little tired. Open your closet and your pantry and take notes of each item in there. I bet you have more stuff than you realized huh?
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Did your coworker just get a new car? Good for them and who cares?! Their financial success is NOT a comment on you, your life, your choices, your career, nothing. When we can stop going after all the things we don’t have constantly, and look at all the things we DO have, our lives can really start to change for the better.
- Make a list of everything you feel grateful for. No matter how big or small the item, person, or experience, even just trying to think of things you feel grateful for can have a radical impact on your brain. According to Shawn Anchor, a positive psychologist, happiness researcher, and author, “there are ways you can train your brain to become more positive. In just a two-minute span of time done for 21 days in a row, we can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to work more optimistically and successfully.” The trick? According to Shawn, it’s just to write down three things you feel grateful for for 21 days in a row, three new things each day. “At the end of that,” Shawn says, “their brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first.” Watch his complete Ted Talk on the subject here: https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work
- Use your gratitude list to set an intention for your yoga and/or meditation practice. If you don’t practice yoga or meditate, give either or both techniques a try! If these practices are part of your routine, then incorporate the things you are grateful for into each practice.
- Take a walk outside and notice the abundance of nature. Now that it’s spring, this shouldn’t be too difficult to recognize. Notice the new growth, the leaves on the trees, the flowers blooming. Notice just how much life surrounds you. From insects and bugs to birds and butterflies, squirrels, people, dogs life. So so so much out there.
- Try a compassion or gratitude meditation. Not sure where to start? Find a teacher who can guide you or try some of these guided self-compassion meditations from Dr. Kristin Neff: http://self-compassion.org/guided-self-compassion-meditations-mp3-2/
- Remind yourself that you already ARE love and abundance. Make this your daily mantra. Write it on your bathroom mirror and repeat it to yourself over and over again. You. Just as you are, already embody love and abundance. You are enough, all by yourself.
- Cook yourself a healthy meal at home and share it with friends, family and loved ones. Sometimes when we feel scarcity, this simple act of generosity and community can have a really positive impact! Not to mention, boosting our nutrition and gut health has been shown to have positive mental effects as well. When we feel better, we don’t feel as threatened. When we don’t feel as threatened, we feel more the love and abundance we already have.
- Volunteer to help people less fortunate than you. Volunteering can really help put our lives in perspective, and show us how much we have in comparison. And giving back makes us feel better!
- Make a list of everyone you love. Now make a list of everyone who loves you. This can include family, friends, your puppy, your cat, whoever! Remind yourself that you are loved, and that you have so many people in your life to love.
- Do something you enjoy. Just because. Just do it. It feels nice. Draw, paint, sing in the shower, cook, whatever. Do something that tunes you out from your problems and tunes you into the creative and playful source that is so plentiful inside you.
- Go to bed early and get plenty of rest. Because it’s amazing what just getting a good night’s sleep can do to improve our mood and outlook on life!
After you’ve done all this, go somewhere you can see the stars at night. Remind yourself that the entire universe is conspiring to HELP you. Remember that life is not perfect and that just because we don’t have everything doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of things. We are so much wealthier than we often give ourselves credit for.
Have more things you want to add to this list?! Post them in the comments section below 🙂