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If you are going through alcohol recovery, it is important to understand that the mind is a powerful tool, and the world around you is literally shaped by the thoughts and belief systems you have put into place.
Many belief systems are hardwired into us at an early age and can manifest into good habits but in some instances, this old wiring can begin to serve a negative purpose, leading to self-limiting belief systems that can hold you back and create anxiety and depression.
In this article, we will discuss how you can hack your belief systems and gradually become more conscious of areas where you may be self-limiting yourself. Let’s dive in.
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” – Proverbs 4:23
How Are Belief Systems Established?
Research has shown that the development of alcoholism, alcohol addiction, or a drinking problem can also be heavily influenced by early programming or belief systems. Peer pressure, parental modelling, and other environmental factors can contribute to the development of these conditions, which can have a significant negative impact on individuals’ lives.
The habitual behaviour associated with alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency can become hardwired into a person’s subconscious mind, leading to self-limiting belief systems that hold them back from seeking alcohol addiction help and recovery from alcohol addiction. These negative thought patterns may include the belief that they are not capable of achieving sobriety or that they will inevitably relapse.
However, with proper alcohol addiction treatment and support, recovery from alcohol addiction is possible. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medical supervision, and therapy can help individuals identify and overcome self-limiting beliefs and attitudes that contribute to their alcohol addiction. Breaking free from the cycle of alcohol abuse can improve individuals’ mental and physical health, and help them live a fulfilling life.
Core Foundations of Belief Systems
The four core foundations are compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, and vision. Compassion helps you show kindness, understanding, and support to others and yourself, while gratitude allows you to cultivate positive thinking and thought patterns. Forgiveness allows you to let go of past traumas and stories that continue to fuel your self-limiting beliefs, and vision helps you shape a bigger and brighter future.
These areas are highlighted In the book The Code of Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani, Vishen underscoring these areas as part of your key pillars to extraordinary success .
Compassion – An important area in your life that shapes your attitude about others and yourself. Compassion is expressing genuine acts of kindness, showing support and understanding the suffering of others, without any expectation of something in return. Showing compassion creates a stronger connection with others and allows us to feel more accepted as part of a greater community.
Gratitude – Being grateful for things in your life is a surefire way to cultivate positive thinking and thought patterns. Sometimes we go about our life overlooking the little things that we’re truly blessed with, clean water, availability of food or even the ability to walk. Sometimes we go about our lives stressing about our jobs when we should stop, and be grateful for actually having that particular job, a job that allows us to put food on the table. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you don’t have, without appreciating what you do have. Incorporating a gratitude practice in your life such as a Gratitude journal”, or just taking a moment each day to be grateful for the things you take for granted can produce profound results, but understand that gratitude is like a muscle, it requires constant exercise.
Forgiveness – Holding grudges and not giving in to past hurt costs energy, causes more pain (and in some instances, it lies in the subconscious) and severely limits your life. Forgiveness ties very close in with gratitude, be grateful, seek forgiveness of others and let go of past traumas and stories that continue to fuel your self-limiting beliefs. Letting go of this negative energy will also allow positive ones to flow.
Vision – What is your vision? your end goal? where do you want to grow and what sort of mark do you want to leave on this world? I believe everyone has a purpose, a true passion, everyone wants to leave a legacy, whether they verbal it or not. Finding your end goals, in your career, personal or spiritual life is key to shaping a bigger and brighter future.
Words and Belief Systems
The power of language is undeniable, and the way we use our words can have a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being. This is especially true when it comes to issues related to self-esteem and self-worth.
For example, using language that reinforces negative self-talk can contribute to the development of self-limiting beliefs and attitudes. This can be especially harmful for individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions.
The Bible emphasizes the importance of using our words for good, rather than harm. Verses such as Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 15:4, and Proverbs 21:23 encourage us to be mindful of our speech and to choose our words carefully. This can include eliminating self-limiting language from our vocabulary, such as phrases like “I can’t” or “I’m not good enough.”
Need – You didn’t need to go shopping, in reality, you wanted to, or were obligated to, but did you really NEED to? Probably not. The word “need” creates a limit on your creative boundaries.
Bad – Considered a very judgemental viewpoint, creating negativity, and in reality again nothing is ever really “Bad”. For example, fast food isn’t bad for you, it’s less nutritious, perhaps more harmful.
Try – This word allows failure to be an option, it’s subconscious planning to fail. It’s like people “trying” out a diet, they’ve already given themselves an opt-out. Don’t try, just do.
Can’t – A word that gets embedded in the unconscious brain of early childhood, “You can’t go there”. Saying can’t alerts your nervous system that there’s no way in hell I can do it, and in fact, what you’re really trying to say is “This would be difficult without x help
Mindset and Belief Systems
We all face challenges and difficult situations in life, and how we respond to them can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being. Autopilot reactions are often driven by our brain’s hard-wiring, which can lead us to react impulsively and emotionally, without taking the time to consider the consequences of our actions.
However, by learning to rewire our brains and establish healthier coping mechanisms, we can transform the way we respond to difficult situations. This can help us to manage stress more effectively, improve our relationships, and create a more positive outlook on life.
Establishing tactics to rewire these autonomic foundations of your brain can be life-changing, here are a few.
Find the light in every shadow – Sometimes we get so caught up in the negativity of things, a high power bill, a car accident, it’s so easy to get stuck in your head. The next time a negative situation arises, find something positive at that moment, a high power bill? at least you have a home, a car accident? you survived. Be grateful for the positive moments.
Rewiring the response – As I mentioned, reacting to a situation is your brains’ instinctive autonomic way to respond, this is how it conserves energy, but sometimes these responses are detrimental to our well-being. The brain particularly smart in this aspect of our life, it fears change in its constant attempt to keep you from harm. The key to rewiring the response is being aware of “meta moments”, also known as a sliver of time between trigger and response . The next time you find a situation arising that you would normally autonomously react to, pause and ponder the moment, and choose better intentions to respond, this is up-wiring.
Trick your nervous system – This one may seem a little woo, but as we’ve established earlier, words are powerful. Every day spend a couple of minutes talking to your nervous system (or if you meditate, during that). Thank your nervous system, and be grateful that situations in your life happen for a reason, the good or the bad. Situations arise to build mental resilience and strengthen the core foundations of your neural network.
Binaural Beats – Something I use when I want to shift my brain into a different state of consciousness is binaural beats, which are Hertz frequency tones that allow you to shift brainwave patterns and create a more desired state of mind. Various patterns include:
Gamma (39-50hz) – Understanding, Learning, Problem Solving
Beta (12-38hz) – Reaction, Engagement, Focus, Productivity
Alpha (8hz-12hz) – Present, Awareness, Relaxation
Theta (4hz-7hz) – Sleep, Meditation, Dreams
Delta (0 – 3hz) – Deep Sleep, Regeneration, Healing
When I’m looking to shift my mind into a more relaxed state, I pop in some headphones and use various bin-aural beat-generating apps, one I use the most and recommend is Brain.fm (Available on Desktop, iOS
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Silence and Belief Systems
According to Dave Asprey in the book Game Changers, our old programming has wired us to believe that we have to think about what we’re going to say next instead of actually listening. When adults were talking you wouldn’t be heard unless you speak right away!
In some instances, talking too much can actually hinder the message you’re getting across, the more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish . Always trying to think of that next response and giving in to the monkey mind pulls you away from the present, and honestly doesn’t make you a very good listener at all.
I believe a secondary reason why we’re always on our heels to say something is the Fear Of Missing Out, the fear that if we don’t hurry up and get what we want to say into the conversation, it could end prematurely and we won’t be heard, but in reality, this is a false belief.
Taking the time to listen to what people have to say strengthens compassion, a core foundation of building positive belief systems. I encourage you to spend some time listening and less time planning what you have to say, be present.
Meditation and Belief Systems
One powerful tactic for rewiring our belief systems and achieving greater mental clarity is the practice of meditation. This ancient practice has been used for centuries to promote psychological health and wellness, and has been embraced by high-performing individuals around the world.
Through meditation, we can learn to train our minds to be more present and aware in the moment, which is a key component of achieving greater clarity and focus. Many meditation practices focus on a specific aspect, such as a mantra, bodily sensations, or the breath, with the goal of becoming more aware of distracting thoughts and redirecting our attention to the chosen focus.
Some common meditation practices or techniques include :
Mindfulness meditation – your most common form of meditation, primarily focusing on the breath and remaining aware of the present moment.
Loving-kindness meditation – Focuses on the breath while establishing words of loving kindness to yourself, others, and the world.
Progressive relaxation – Also known as body scan meditation, primarily used for scanning tension in the body and allowing the body to release it.
Kundalini Yoga – A more physically active, yoga-like form of meditation, incorporating deep breathing, poses, and mantras.
Transcendental Meditation – A spiritual form of meditation that involves slow breathing and a personal mantra determined by various factors unique to the individual.
Incorporating a daily meditation practice into your life can help unshackle undesirable thought patterns and improve your resilience in stressful situations, giving you the ability to remain calm, and allowing your body to formulate a more relaxed response. Some fantastic apps to get started include Oak (iOS Only) or Calm(iOS and Android).
All the best in health,
- Asprey, D. (2018). Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators and Mavericks Do to Win at Life(1st ed.). London: HarperCollins UK, Page 30-31.
- Lakhiani, V. (2016). The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms(1st ed.). Rodale Books.
- Greene, R. (2000).The 48 Laws of Power. London, England: Penguin.
Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.