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eM Life Releases the Top 5 Tips to Beat Stress During Tax Season

When Financial Stress Feels Amplified During Tax Season, Turn To These Practical Solutions To Help

If you dread tax season, you’re not alone.  Millions of Americans feel stressed when it comes to money more than anything else this year (or even the past 8 years before that).  According to the American Psychological Association’s annual stress report, 90% of Americans are just as stressed or even more stressed than they were last year, and it’s mostly over their finances.  With the annual report showing zero signs of stress slow down, especially during tax season, we would like to help. That’s why we’re sharing our top 5 mindfulness tips for reducing financial stress during another traumatic tax season.

Mindfulness is the fundamental human ability to be fully present, aware of what we’re doing and where we are, and not act overly reactive or feel overwhelmed by what’s happening around us. Jim Austin, Senior Teacher at eM Life, enlightens, “Money is the medium through which we provide ourselves with food, shelter and health care.  It’s not surprising that we can spend so much time worrying about it and whether we will have enough to provide for ourselves. Learning how mindfulness plays a role in helping to understand our relationship with finances becomes invaluable.”

By following these 5 simple eMindful-approved tips, you will feel more relaxed and ready to tackle your finances stress free:

  1. Remain Present – According to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits, 67% of millennials and 32% of baby boomers say financial stress overtakes their ability to focus and be productive at work. Remaining present is vital to countering this. By developing the skill we call “Urge Surfing”- letting the impulse to do something, (like worrying, eating an unhealthy snack, or buying that expensive shirt you’ve been eyeing) come, be in your body for several minutes, and then letting it go- you can greatly reduce stress.
  2. Develop Compassion for Yourself – Empathy can be the difference between getting consumed with a tax season or being able to resolve it. Self-compassion calms your nervous system so that you can become clearer about your feelings. Compassion for ourselves can also help us become clear about what information is still needed to take the next best step toward our goals. The published journal, ‘Personality and Individual Differences,’ states that self-compassion promotes healthy mindsets and adaptive coping mechanisms when the going gets tough. Taxes are a part of life. Be proud of yourself just for knowing that!
  3. Awareness of Thoughts – Just being fully aware of your thoughts and inner/outer experiences can reduce stress. Northwestern Mutual’s recent study found that 28% of people worry about their finances every single day and 70% say it’s negatively impacting their happiness. By acknowledging when you have worrisome financial thoughts that elicit stress, you can immediately shift into anchoring your attention back to the present moment and calming your mind.
  4. Recognize Wants Aren’t Needs – Do you feel like you need more? More goods and lifestyle upgrades that seem to slip away with taxes? According to the Urban Institute, 77 million Americans currently have debt in collections from chasing more. Taking the time to stop what you are doing, breathe, and focus on where the desire for more stems from can help you observe that most of your desires are not needs but wants. Accepting that happiness is within your means is an enormous stress relief.
  5. Breath – When it all starts feeling like too much… Just breath. Close your eyes and bring your complete attention to the sensations of your breath for a few moments. When you notice your mind wandering (to thoughts about what your taxes or other stressors), gently return your attention to your breath. Each time you practice shifting your attention back to your breath your mind will be quieter. As you feel the breath, notice the sense of calm and relaxation flowing into your body. Savor the experience of calm and relaxation you’re experiencing in this moment. The more familiar you become with this state, the easier it will be to return to when you need it most, likely April 15.

And a Bonus Tip for Next Year: Purchase with a Mental Budget. Your mental financial health depends equally on purchasing products that work for your budget and products you believe in. Currently only 39% of Americans have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency, as surveyed by Bankrate revealed. That’s stressful to even read. Learning to simply add “Do I believe in this product” to the usual, “Can I afford it” will lead to less expenditures and increased peace of mind on the ones you did purchase, providing a huge head start on reducing stress for 2019’s tax season.

Looking for additional tips to get through tax season successfully?  eM Life’s Mindfulness for Financial Stress Program runs from April 17-23 2018.  This week-long program features live 14 minute mindfulness classes throughout the day to fit into any schedule. In addition, on-demand videos featuring financial stress reduction tips, meditations, music, yoga, and other mindfulness practices are included for in a two-week free trial. Discover the key to solving your financial stress by dedicating as little as 14mins to mindfulness through the eM Life platform.


Also published on Medium.