Breaking Free from Limiting Beliefs: How to Re-Wire Your Brain for Sobriety
The beliefs we have about ourselves, the world, and our circumstances bear close scrutiny as we make our way through life.
Our perspectives, actions, and thoughts are all affected by the beliefs we hold.
But we must always ask if our beliefs are helping us or hindering us.
Many of us have limiting or negative beliefs because we haven’t fully explored the potential of our subconscious programming.
It’s possible that these convictions are taken for granted and not something we consciously consider.
It’s not like we intentionally wake up thinking about drama or bad experiences, but our brain might think it’s significant.
Thinking with intention and purpose can help you overcome these false beliefs.
We can free ourselves from self-defeating ideas and assumptions by making a conscious decision about what to believe.
Neuroplasticity refers to the process by which we can consciously shape our mental framework.
The term “plasticity” describes how the brain can develop and change as a result of new information.
This means that we can change the way we think and behave simply by changing what we choose to believe in.
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, have been shown to have a positive effect on brain rewiring and the suppression of negative emotions and ideas.
The concept of self-fulfilling prophecies is another unfortunate practice acquired though unhealthy belief systems.
The term “belief-driven” refers to the theory that people tend to act in ways that are consistent with their strongest held convictions.
It’s easy to see how a person’s self-doubt could reinforce itself: if they think they can’t accomplish something, they probably won’t try very hard to make it happen.
If, on the other hand, we have faith in our own abilities, we are more likely to put forth the effort necessary to realize our goals.
What this demonstrates is the profound influence that our expectations and assumptions have on our lives.
Cognitive dissonance can play a role in limiting beliefs; this term describes the mental discomfort or stress that can arise from holding conflicting beliefs or values.
Discomfort can arise when our beliefs are at odds with our values and the way we choose to live our lives.
An individual may experience cognitive dissonance, for instance, if they hold the view that alcohol is harmful but continue to drink anyway.
Either a shift in behavior, like giving up alcohol, or a shift in outlook, like coming to think that alcohol is safe can result from this.
This exemplifies the importance of maintaining congruence between our beliefs and our actions if we are to avoid cognitive dissonance and ultimately overcome limiting beliefs.
Science has shown, in sum, that the brain can change and adapt in response to experiences and learning, that our beliefs can influence our actions and outcomes, and that holding conflicting beliefs or values can lead to relapse.
By learning these empirical truths, we can gain insight into how our beliefs shape our experience of the world and into the processes by which we can release self-limiting beliefs and thoughts.
The idea that we are an alcoholic is an example of this.
Even if our behavior suggests that we are alcoholics, that does not make us alcoholics.
Though our ingrained assumptions may work overtime to convince us otherwise, we can overcome limiting beliefs by seeing ourselves as more than the sum of our problems.
Equally, we shouldn’t be defined by our past hardships if we’ve moved past them and are now in a better place.
Even if we stop drinking, our brain may still think we have a problem if we refer to ourselves as an alcoholic even though we are not.
Keep in mind that despite our hardships, we have the potential to grow and improve.
My point is, we need to question our own beliefs to see if they are helping us or hindering us.
You can rise above your hardships and become who you were meant to be if you take responsibility for your thoughts, beliefs, and make healthy decisions based on your discoveries.
Long-term sobriety is the direct result of a single shift in a perspective that’s been anchoring you in place.
-Kohdi | Beyond Sober | Sobriety Wiki