How to Create Mindfulness Around our Finances

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Finances can easily scatter our minds into complete chaos.  While it’s true we may lose clarity, is it possible to have turmoil and still generate peacefulness around our circumstances? Some may argue the two don’t exist, but I say they can. It’s through mindfulness.

Having a calm mind will do away with the mental chatter and ease our stress; thus, allowing us to see the situation with an openness that would otherwise not be there.

But how? – applying a method. A ritual we do every time we experience financial disharmony to refocus the mind to the present moment. If we use a method every time, we develop a pattern and eventually a healthy habit.

These three methods are simple and bring our attention back to the present:

  • Stop – become aware of the body
  • Breath – take a deep breath
  • Recite – repeat a simple phrase

The first method is subtle, but effective. Stopping allows us to become fully aware and begin to connect our body and mind. This reestablishes awareness and diminishes mental activity. However, if the mind is too scattered, we may need a more tangible approach.

The second method is concrete because it directs our attention to the breath. Breathing deeply will relax our body and help us regain consciousness; thereby, enabling us to make a wiser decision.

The third method requires extra effort. Reciting a simple phrase removes the train of thoughts and concentrates the mind to the task at hand.

For instance, we might be cooking and the next thing you know our mind has wandered off to being homeless on a random street begging for money.  Instead, we use a method. Any of the three will work. The purpose is to always bring the mind back to the present.  

With this newly found clarity, we can ask: Is this really the case? What can we do to improve our current condition? Maybe eating out twice a month instead of four might do the trick. Reducing our cable and phone services may yield additional income. Or, a second job may be required. Once mindless chatter is removed from the equation, we can solve the problem fast and efficiently.

Creating a budget further extends this mindfulness in everyday life. Keeping track of our receipts and inputting them into a simple spreadsheet generates responsibility towards our expending. We can monitor if our purchases were impulsive or wise. It generates another layer of awareness. Most of the time, we spend and our wallets decrease, but we don’t know what we spent for the month or how we spent it. It’s usually written off as “that’s just what happened.” Finances don’t “happen to us.” We create our financial picture from the decisions we make daily.  In creating our budget, we are the director of our movie. There are no surprises when we budget. It’s like watching our favorite movie, we know how it will end.

Through mindfulness, we recognize we are responsible for the stress we attach to our finances. It also serves as a tool for insight. We can flip the coin and transform disharmony into harmony. No longer are we the prisoners of our mind. With our method, we are capable of generating mindfulness and cultivating stability when confronted with any difficult situation.

 

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