When you get a bill in your mailbox do you break into a cold sweat? When you walk into Target, do you feel confident, or stressed wondering if you’ll buy more than you planned?
We don’t have to let money-related situations like these take us on an emotional roller coaster. Instead, we can use mindfulness techniques to add a sense of peace and freedom in our financial lives.
In fact, we’re so excited about how mindfulness can de-stress people’s financial situations, we’re hosting Financial Stress and Mindfulness week, April 4–10. Each day, learn a new mindfulness skill that will help you handle your financial stress with greater ease.
To get you started, here are some tips on how mindfulness can improve your emotions and financial decisions.
Mindfulness helps you switch to a relationship perspective.
Many of us think we’re at the mercy of our cash flow and finances. It’s like our financial demands are a hurricane that we can’t control or avoid. With mindfulness, you can shift your point of view.
Instead of viewing finances as a force of nature, you can begin to see that you and your finances are in a relationship.
What does your financial relationship look like? Does your financial life say hello and give you space when you need it? More likely, it’s always begging for attention or barking at you to make decisions. (Maybe it even reads your old diary and dredges up insecurities that cause you to make impulse purchases.)
Once you use mindfulness to perceive a relationship with your finances, you can take control of it, and improve your feelings and choices when you deal with it.
Mindfulness helps you see your thoughts, say goodbye to repetitive over-worry, and nix the “money sweats”.
Mindfulness can help you discover new awareness of thoughts about your financial life. With mindfulness, you’re able take a close look at your beliefs and decide for yourself if they’re useful, or even accurate.
In addition, mindfulness reduces the frequency of your negative financial thoughts. It shows you which thoughts are on your repeat playlist and helps you shelve the ones that aren’t serving you. This allows you to focus more attention on smart spending decisions and wise financial planning.
Plus, mindfulness can decrease the frequency or intensity of physical responses that kick in when you’re dealing with stressful financial situations. That’s great news which can result in a slower heart rate, eased muscle tension, and even fewer cases of stress sweat.
Have you noticed just how many options you have when it comes to preparing your taxes, financial planning, and figuring out which debts to pay off first? Not only that, are you up to your eyeballs in intrusive advertising campaigns for merchandise and financial services?
All these options and messages create confusion. When our brains sense complexity in any area of our lives, including our finances, we feel anxiety.
What’s worse, for high stakes financial decisions rife with choices, we may be prone to just shut down. This leads to procrastination. With those decisions looming in our minds, we often experience even more stress.
Mindfulness techniques let you navigate the sea of choices and ads with greater ease. You can shift your focus away from the incessant messages, focus on your best options, remember your priorities, and stick to your spending limits.
Changing habits and loving what you have.
Do you ever feel dissatisfied with your current lifestyle? Of course you do. You’re human.
Some people experience dissatisfaction because they truly don’t have enough to sustain themselves. However, for many, dissatisfaction arises because they can’t stop thinking about the potential for more. Over-focusing on dissatisfaction and cravings creates stress in our lives.
When we practice mindfulness, we’re able to see that dissatisfaction and wanting more are actually habits of thinking. These stressful feelings come up even after we’ve gotten the next latest and greatest thing. Mindfulness helps us see that getting more rarely leaves us with lasting satisfaction.
Mindfulness can take us a step further by replacing our dissatisfaction habit with thoughts of gratitude for what we have. With our new mindful perspective, we not only tolerate a life within our means, we savor it!
Relinquishing the thirst for more can give you more time and financial benefits. Once you stop buying things you mistakenly think will fulfill your life, you keep more money for yourself. That means less time spending, more dollars in your wallet, and greater happiness.
Want to learn mindfulness techniques to improve your financial relationship?
Sign up for a Mindful Daily from April 4–10 and each day we’ll guide you through a mindfulness skill to help you overcome financial challenges, including:
· Conscious Consuming: Filling your shopping cart with value
· Keeping Up With The Joneses: Managing FOMO and the impulse to fit in
· Stop (Financially) Stressing!: Don’t let worrying about financial health turn to avoidance
· Making Change For New Choices: Stop throwing good money after bad investments
· Avoiding A Taxing Situation: Challenging the thoughts that lead us to procrastination
· Know Your Purchasing Power: Buying financial freedom among impulse shopping urges
· The Joy In Enough: Living happily within your means