Being a mom of 3 boys, I know how overwhelming life can get and how stress and anxiety can sometimes feel like it is going through the roof. Not having a supportive mindset and tools to get through the tough times can put a person into a tailspin.
Moms also know it’s essential to set a positive example with healthy lifestyle choices to provide our kids with a flourishing foundation towards adulthood.
But in our culture, it is commonplace for moms to put themselves last because we are the ones giving so much to our families. So, unfortunately, it becomes the unwritten rule to ignore our own needs, care, and well-being.
I used to overindulge in alcohol ALL THE TIME, and no one really knew it. Now it’s been over three and a half years and I’ve discovered new ways to handle stress and anxiety and I want to help other moms learn how to do this too.
So how important is mindset when you want to make any positive change in your life? It is HUGE and is often overlooked by most.
Did you know that happiness does not come from “things” or events in our lives, but comes from the thoughts that we think about those circumstances? And guess what? You can influence and even change your beliefs and thoughts at any given moment, in any situation.
Beliefs and thoughts can make or break your mindset.
When approached with a challenge in life, it’s easy to forget the power that our mindset can have over a particular situation. When it comes to overindulging, there is a reason why you do it, although you may know why or may not yet understand the root cause… yet!
Working on your mindset will help you understand why you do what you do. It is the key to becoming aware. You can learn how to feel in charge of your thoughts instead of thoughts being in charge of you. Specifically, the beliefs you have that may or may not be serving you about overindulging. They help you to understand why you do what you do.
Why is this important? What are beliefs? We have conscious beliefs (those that we are fully aware of), and unconscious beliefs (those that we are completely unaware of). We develop unconscious beliefs about our persistent and unwanted habits over our entire life since we were children. Much of this comes from what goes on around us — everything we interact with leaves an impression of unconsciously learning the information on our consciousness — from what we see on TV to advertising and social interactions we have with others, especially our parents. We have learned things that we don’t consciously know exist and have learned things in the past that we have forgotten about because of all that constantly goes on around us. The beliefs, opinions, and judgments we hold about any habit are not our own.
When we can make our unconscious beliefs conscious, a most amazing thing takes place. Discovering what you’re not aware of that you’re aware of uncovers your blind spots around your beliefs and behaviors. Once you see something you have been blind to, you gain access to new action. So, creating a new belief around a particular habit creates a new behavior, which leads to new results.
When the conscious and unconscious mind aligns in harmony, the cognitive dissonance dissolves and you can recover your power to choose.
Another way to think about it is — beliefs and thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions (or your behavior) and those actions create results. Increasing your awareness of your beliefs and thoughts, helps you move out of unconscious behaviors. When you make a conscious decision to become aware of your thoughts and you discover you have choices available to you where you thought there weren’t any, you discover there is no need for willpower.
A big belief I had around alcohol was that alcohol relaxed me when I felt stressed. When I decided to pay more attention to this, I started to question my belief. If alcohol truly relaxed me when I was stressed, WHY did I still feel stressed all the time?
When I took the time to educate myself on what alcohol does to the brain, it was a real eye-opener for me. Sure, after having the first drink or two, it did temporarily relieve my stress. But what happened after that surprised me. I learned that the brain fights against the alcohol to get it out of the brain as a means to survive, by releasing cortisol and adrenaline, which are the big stress hormones. This puts you in a state called “dysphoria” where you feel agitated and depressed and this can go on for hours, depending on how many drinks you had, while you detox the alcohol out of your system.
Since I was a binge drinker, it was a lot, so my dysphoria lasted well throughout the next day. And what did I do to relieve that dysphoria? Have another drink! It was a vicious cycle! It made me say to myself “a-ha! No wonder why I constantly feel stressed!” Once I was able to clear up my conscious initial belief by accessing my unconscious mind that “alcohol relaxed me when I felt stressed”, I was able to move ahead with positive action and willpower was not necessary.
Digging into your beliefs and thoughts around alcohol will help you uncover your understanding of why you are overindulging and will set you up to develop the framework to have a positive mindset shift and ultimately a change for the better around that particular situation.
As a result, those constant thoughts you have about the substance dissipate over time until they no longer have a place in your mind and suck up your brain space, leading you to richer experiences and possibilities in life.
The power of your mindset cannot be overlooked and can lead you down a path to a happier and healthier life!