Mindfulness is seriously everywhere these days. Walk into any bookstore and there are stands of adult coloring books or little books with mindfulness tips. More and more workplaces and schools are trying to incorporate it into their environments.
What is mindfulness, anyway? And how can you use it for your finances? Mindfulness is the practice of being present. Fully present. According to Mindful.org mindfulness is when, “the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through.”
Mindfulness is the practice of being self-aware of your thoughts and feelings at every moment. Incorporating mindfulness into your lifestyle can look different for everyone. It can be intentional thought changes. For example, being aware of your reaction in traffic and then choosing to focus on your breathing, your surroundings, and choosing to believe that person is a bad driver, but NOT your problem.
Or it can look like becoming more self-affirming –acknowledging and rejecting that negative thought that is creeping into your mind– and recognizing the values, positivity, and truths you hold dearly. The important thing is that mindfulness is flexible and can be present in whatever it is you are doing – even your finances.
Studies show that people that are more self-affirming, in that they know their core values and are able to remind themselves of them in the face of mistakes or criticism, are better able to deal with failure. Practicing self-affirmations versus practicing raising your self-esteem is more effective. It allows you to better process something negative about yourself and try again. This is where your finances come in. Using this approach to combat financial anxiety builds resilience in both your financial life as well as your personal life. If you can overcome fear and positively encourage yourself while managing your finances, think about the personal habits you are creating overall.
Mindfulness and Your Finances
Not only can it help mitigate financial anxiety it can also help you deal with the days where you may not uphold your money managing spirit as much as you would like. On a day like that, being mindful of your actions, your surroundings, and your values allows you to step back, take it all in.
Instead of thinking, “I am terrible at being consistent and sticking to a plan,” you can think, “one of my best qualities is my adaptability and creativity, I can find a way to make some changes in my money managing plan to deal with this.” Not only does this second statement allow you to reaffirm positive qualities about yourself, it also has an action item. This makes statement two more likely to create actual positive change. Cause after we understand mindfulness we get to enjoy manifestation:).
Managing and even just being cognizant of your finances can be overwhelming and sometimes mentally taxing. Incorporating mindfulness into your money management plan can make the process easier. Numbers don’t have emotions but recognizing that you do, can make your financial management process not only about your finances but about YOU.
Image credit: Mirjana Jesic