How Belief in Lack can Impact Brain Health.
Negative qualities can and do impact brain health. In this blog, I give a small synopsis of the damage that just one negative quality (lack) can do, and how you might want to challenge it. I remember growing up hearing the phrase, “poor mouth”. It described those who were always complaining about being poor, not having enough, lack of everything from a good home to a good meal to decent clothing. I, too, thought we were poor, and my parents did not discourage me from thinking so. After all, we had old furniture, old rugs, and a home that was built by my father and his friends. It was only when I was much older did I realize we had more money and influence than most. The “old” furniture and rugs that decorated my home were all antiques, passed down in my family who enjoyed some fame and notoriety in the region. The house was designed by a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. The family, whose religious and philosophical roots were comprised of Quakers, believed that being proud was one of the worst things one could do. I have great respect for the Quakers, and somehow this belief went, as most go after generations, off the spiritual path and morphed into religious doctrine. This belief in lack had very serious consequences on my emotional and psychological growth, and physical well being. It took some time for me to dig myself out of the chasm that lack created. I was negative, felt less than, depressed and at times suicidal. It even affected my health; always poor!!!!
So, lack comes in many forms, we lack energy, self-worth, beauty, control, financial means. If we believe in a God and/or the vastness of the universe, how can we have such a narrow view? There is more than enough, right? So, the belief in lack is fundamentally flawed. If the feeling of lack is so pervasive, something(s) must support it.
According to Shawn Achor, PhD, in his book The Happiness Advantage, his research at Harvard shows that “…there is a 17-1 negative-to-positive ratio of research in the field of psychology. In other words, for every one study about happiness and thriving there were 17 studies on depression and disorder. As a society, we know very well how to be unwell and miserable and so little about how to thrive.” This research model is supported throughout academia. The media is another vehicle for negativity (mostly in order to boost ratings), because people seem to crave it. Our brains are barraged with messages that support negativity to be the only reality. Negativity can be passed down through generations. SPECT, a form of brain scan, actually shows areas in the brain where there is a lot of activity regarding negative behavior. It’s a real problem, all pervasive and supported by our surroundings and society. Wow, pretty scary. What we spend our energy on becomes our reality. We can change this. There is hope.
When we project lack, we set ourselves up for depression, failure, and illness. When I looked at the benefits of lack I came up with: 1) it calls attention to your “plight”; 2) promotes self pity a form of selfishness ; 3) promotes behaviors that substantiate what you were told and believe; 4) belief that lack is synonymous with holiness. The dangers of a lack mentality include: 1) poor health (mental and physical); 2) keeps you from your life’s purpose; 3) yes, life can be difficult, but being holy is realizing your life’s purpose and contributing to the betterment of mankind, not running from it ; 4) you cannot have a healthy brain if you give into negative thoughts and behavior, it is a brain killer, not a brain enhancer; 5) like a virus it spreads and kills your good qualities; 6) promotes selfishness rather than selflessness.
Here’s the good news. This and other negative behaviors can be reversed and replaced by positive qualities and peace of mind. It is not done by magic or accomplished by pharmaceuticals (but, if you need them, by all means take them). You can begin with these steps: 1) observe yourself, just watch what you do and how you do it, observe when and what happens; 2) journal (did you notice any triggers or behaviors that might be valuable for your self knowledge); 3) begin a gratitude book; 4) meditate, it will open up the pathways to who you really are; 5) practice mindfulness 6) exercise; 7) take vitamins; 8) learn how to talk back to your automatic negative thoughts; 9) create a life goal letter to yourself and post it on your fridge; 10) start a support group so that there will be accountability. These are just some of the ways you can combat negativity in your life and become who you were truly meant to be. It takes a lot of work and determination, but the alternative is living of life of less – less physical health, less mental health, less energy, and all that less provides (or UNprovides). If you need help with any of this, please do not hesitate to call The Brain Coach. Been there, done that, read the book and got a degree!
How has lack, your awareness of lack, and efforts to change that impacted your life?
The Brain Coach