Having an abundance mindset could make you happier and healthier.
“An abundance mindset is being able to look at the present moment and notice all of the goodness inherent with it,” says Angela Buttimer, MS, NCC, RYT, LPC, a licensed psychotherapist at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont. “It’s a more optimistic mindset where you can see the glass as half-full. It’s not that we don’t acknowledge what’s painful or lacking, but we don’t belabor it.”
Abundance vs. scarcity mindset
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the scarcity mindset, which believes there’s never enough. It’s always looking at the glass as half-empty and focusing on what’s not right. This can be caused by what Buttimer calls “sloppy thinking” or not paying attention to your thoughts.
For example, with an abundance mindset, you may choose to believe that you have enough time, energy and talent to learn a new skill. A scarcity mindset believes that it’s too late for you or that you don’t have enough time or energy to make it happen.
The benefits of an abundance mindset
“The research in positive psychology shows that people who have more optimistic attitudes have better immune system function and are happier people,” she says. “A lot of times, people think these people are happy because they have so much abundance, but it’s the reverse. People with abundance mindsets savor and have a sense of gratitude for what they have instead of focusing on what they don’t have.”
What influences our mindset?
Our upbringing and culture, the conversations we allow in our lives, and the media we choose to consume can all affect our mindset.
“If we’re around really negative people, it’s easy to have a scarcity mindset,” says Buttimer. “Emotions and mindsets are contagious. If we’re having conversations with a lot of people who have scarcity mindsets, we can fall prey to it ourselves.”
How to develop an abundance mindset
If you’re used to having a scarcity mindset, it can be a hard habit to break.
“You have to put your hands on the steering wheel of your mind and turn that wheel,” says Buttimer. “It’s a deliberate daily choice. Ask yourself, ‘Do I want to feel happy and peaceful today?’ If you do, what will it take? It may take being grateful, looking around at your environment and seeing what’s right in your life.”
Journaling is an excellent focusing tool that can help you reshape your mindset.
“I encourage people to journal first thing in the morning and to journal positively,” she says. “There’s a place to offload negative emotions when journaling, but be sure you do equal positive journaling and write affirmations, what’s inspiring you and what you’re grateful for.
Buttimer also recommends finding little ways to celebrate life each day. She references the “Blue Zones” of the world – regions where residents generally have a longer-than-average life expectancy.
“If you look at the Blue Zones, one thing they all do is have a little celebration or indulgence each day, like dark chocolate or red wine,” says Buttimer. “This can help us live longer and happier.”
Learn more ways to reduce stress and improve your well-being.