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How to Shift From a Scarcity to An Abundance Mindset

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It might seem odd that “manifestation” is the trending buzzword during this global pandemic, but as high unemployment rates, health alerts, and societal upheaval continue to make headlines, our only chance of survival may rely on training our brain to seek out abundance during times of uncertainty. As a hypnotist, I often work with clients who want help releasing their money blocks or self-sabotaging financial habits. A lack of money is the presenting problem, but typically, the issue is much more profound and layered in years of unconscious programming. Scarcity mindset often shows up in many areas of their lives, from romantic relationships to social connections, finances, and self-worth. We start with money because it’s an approachable area, and because increasing one’s income can help release strain in other areas of one’s life.

According to Kerry Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer at McLean Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, chronic stress weakens the parts of the brain, such as the pre-frontal cortex, that are associated with high-level tasks, and it strengthens the parts of our brain, such as the amygdala, related to our fundamental survival. In a hypnosis session, I help my clients to down-regulate their autonomic nervous system with mindfulness tools and trance, and when they feel more relaxed, we can then focus on changing the emotional impact of the experiences that have been perceived as a threat.

In Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, behavioral economist Sendhil Mullainathan and psychologist Eldar Shafir explain that scarcity is not just a physical constraint; it is a mindset that automatically focuses on unfulfilled needs. It changes what we see, how fast we see it, and how we interpret our surroundings.

So, how can you begin to train your mindset to shift from scarcity to abundance? Let’s break down a few practical yet imaginative tools you can implement today:

Clear Space

The world’s earliest healers and shamans practiced clearing, burning trees branches and herbs to ward off negative energy. The ritual is symbolic of taking inventory of our thoughts and making way for something better. While you can certainly burn sage or smell lavender to associate into a calming state, you can also practice daily imaginative clearings and weekly intentional clean outs.

Daily, it’s helpful to use your imagination to clear out defeating thoughts and the dis-ease you feel in your body. This practice will help you refocus your mind and down-regulate your nervous system.

Visualize your favorite color or positive energy entering your body from the top of your head and moving through you. Allow the color or energy to symbolically represent a feeling you’d like to feel such as peace, confidence, or calmness. As you imagine this feeling entering your body, visualize any negative thoughts, emotions or pains being swept out through the bottoms of your feet and into the ground to be energetically transformed.

You may also want to consider the practice of intentionally clearing out your physical spaces. Often when we feel lack, it’s because we overlook the resources already in our possession. You can start by cleaning out your wallet or purse. Get rid of unnecessary receipts and organize your money. There’s no need to rush the process. Each week, clear out a drawer or space in your home, and as you do, imagine you’re inviting room for more abundance. In Marie Kondo-style, use your senses as you move through your home. Slow down to smell, touch, and see how much abundance you’ve alreadydrawn into your life.

Know What You Value 

I’m often amazed by how few people are unaware of what they truly value in their life. If you don’t know what matters to you, how will you ever feel fulfilled? 

Make a list of your top 10 values such as creativity, family, integrity, time in nature, health, affection, respect, and community, etc. Next, rank your values from highest to lowest. Examine if your actions are congruent with your values. If you find inconsistencies, begin allocating just 10 minutes a day to give yourself more of what you truly desire. If creativity is a top value, make time to write, sew, paint, or dance. 

Living in alignment with your values is a game-changer. When you are true to yourself, you can stop comparing yourself to others who may or may not share your values, and you can opt-out of maintaining social norms that will never bring you a sense of fulfillment.

Watch Your Words 

As a hypnotist, I’m very aware of the words people use to describe their experience of the world. We communicate with each other using metaphors, but the personal narratives we create with our words matter.

If you say things like, “My work is killing me,” or “My kids are driving me crazy,” you are catastrophizing mere inconveniences, and unconsciously categorizing them as threats. Your mind and body will respond to the threat. Research shows that overreacting to common everyday stressors, which are not life-threatening but are “perceived” as such, can lead to cardiovascular disease over time. 

Additionally, studies show that words that reference pain also prime the brain to perceive more discomfort during medical procedures. This is why the medical community has recently been trained to say things like, “You might feel some pressure,” when administering a flu shot instead of “This might hurt a little.” We can infer that our dramatic, colorful descriptions also have the same priming effect on the perception of our lives.

To start changing this habit, ask a friend or your partner to help you identify when you’re using catastrophizing language. Pause. Laugh about it, and rephrase your sentence to something less exaggerated like, “I have a full schedule, and I feel frustrated.” 

Make a Reservation to Worry 

The primitive areas of our brain register fear as a means of protecting us from threats. So, while it may feel annoying to encounter worrisome thoughts, it’s also not helpful to shove them down or ignore them entirely. The distorted thoughts will only become more aggressive and increase your anxious feelings, but these thoughts also don’t need to consume your day.

Instead, make a reservation to worry. Set a timer for 10 to 30 minutes, and allow yourself to worry without distraction for this amount of time. You can write about your concerns in a journal, research, and make a plan. You can pray about what you fear. Similar to letting air out of a balloon, this worry time allows your mind to de-escalate the problem.

Anytime you worry outside of your allotted time, remind yourself to wait until your reservation to worry. You may find you get bored with your worry time, and when you do, you can stop this practice. 

I used this strategy during the start of the pandemic in March when New York City was in lockdown. Like many, I imagined the worst-case scenario—another Great Depression. So, I sat down and began researching how people survived that era. I learned that many people moved in together in order to combine resources and also grew their own food. Considering that my fiancé’s family has a farm in Florida, I devised a plan to move there should the economy take a dive. The simple act of giving myself time to be with this worry allowed me to move through it quickly and refocus my mindset on abundance.

Appreciate Yourself

Scarcity mindset has a sneaky way of attacking our self-confidence. It seeds our mind with thoughts and memories of not being enough or feeling worthy. In response, some people turn to others (even social media) to feel seen, worthy, and validated, but this outside-in strategy sets us up for failure. It’s not possible to please everyone, all the time.

One of the most impactful secrets to creating an abundance mindset lies in the habit of approving and appreciating yourself. End each day by stating three things you appreciate about yourself. (Example: I appreciate my sense of humor. I appreciate my punctuality. I appreciate my work ethic.) Imagine you can float above your body and see yourself receiving these three gifts of appreciation. With time and consistent practice, you’ll begin to build confidence in your natural abilities and talents, giving yourself the validation you desire.

It was the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung who said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” Using resources already available, you can change your experience of life by changing your mind. To start implementing your abundant mindset, select one of the tools to test and master today.

About The Author
NicoleHernandez_Hypnotist_Square

Known as The Traveling Hypnotist, Nicole is a hypnosis practitioner, anxiety educator, and Resident Healer at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. She helps clients unpack anxiety, fear, and unhelpful habits so that they can take on the world with clarity and ease. Nicole’s process is informed by modern hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming, mindfulness, and her innate intuitive gift. As a life-long student of behavioral psychology, neuroscience, movement, and spirituality, she believes in a solution-oriented approach anchored in the understanding that neuroplasticity is the key to true transformation. Her Hypnotic Journey method combines imaginative, sensory-rich experiences, and practical tools to interrupt old thinking patterns and behavior. For more than a decade, Nicole led parallel career paths in corporate marketing while teaching mind-movement fitness, yoga, and guided visualizations in New York City. She is certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) and the International Association of Counselors and Therapists (IACT). Nicole works virtually with clients from around the globe and offers select in-person sessions at the Four Seasons Hotel Downtown New York. For more, visit www.thetravelinghypnotist.com or follow @thetravelinghypnotist on Instagram.