15 Ways to Feel Better About Money
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift…It is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification ever earned. ~J.K. Rowling
Here are some tips to riding the waves of this economic downturn. Although each tip presents a different idea, the goals behind the suggestions overlap. Pick what works best for you.
1. Realize that your circumstances do not create your feelings
For the most part, our thoughts determine our feelings. We all think that our jobs, cranky family members, and dwindling bank accounts make us unhappy. Not true.
Our thoughts about those circumstances make us unhappy. Multi-millionaires have money fears. The good news is that you have the power to choose how you react to the current situation.
2. Find the thoughts that are causing you pain around money
You may be surprised by the fearful thoughts that are causing you pain. Start with a general thought. If you’re like many of my neighbors, for example, your work hours have been cut. Ask, “Why is that a problem?” or “So what?” You may say, “I don’t make enough money to cover the bills.”
Keep asking yourself why that is a problem (You may be saying, “Of course that’s a problem,” but we assume these are problems without really examining the reasons).
3. Worry and fear pretend to keep us safe
Worry is not useful; it does not pay the bills. Fear creates what it promises to avoid. The antidotes to fear are creativity and love. Your brain won’t let you feel fear and love (of which creativity is a part) at the same time. What activities put you in a zone of creativity and love? Taking photos? Playing with kids? Drawing? Writing? Scrapbooking? Working? Walking in nature?
4. See your thoughts for what they really are – just thoughts
Our minds are word machines that produce endless chatter. The stories we tell ourselves are arbitrary and mostly untrue. There is no point in fighting them (that just produces more chatter). Detach from your thoughts. Become a compassionate observer of your thoughts.
5. Go back to your breath
Deep breathing is under-rated. It has the power to put you into a state of calm and deep peace. It takes you away from the thoughts that create fear and anxiety. From this place of calm, you create ways to save and make money. You also realize that breathing happens with no effort from you, just as life happens through you when you are aligned with your true self.
6. Ask yourself what you really want
What you want is not money. You want a feeling that you think money will bring you. Most of us associate money with feelings of security, comfort, and freedom. How can you feel this way now? Besides looking at your thoughts, what action can you take to help yourself feel this way?
Without the feeling of security, abundance, etc., you cannot create abundance in the real world.
Although it sounds counter-intuitive, it is from a place of acceptance that we make positive change. If we are not accepting of what is right now, we are not accepting of life and therefore the power of life cannot flow through us. When I argue with reality, I lose – but only 100 percent of the time. ~Byron Katie
8. Accepting your yucky (that’s the technical term) feelings
The opposite of accepting feelings is avoiding them. Avoidance techniques like the use of alcohol, drugs, eating, or shopping intensify our bad feelings and add new problems. Your feelings are more likely to change with an accepting, non-judgmental attitude toward them. So instead of resisting or avoiding feelings, open up to them, sit with them, get to know them.
Notice that your feelings aren’t killing you. See what comes up. These feelings can give you clues to your right life. They can give you access to the thoughts that are causing them. Then you can examine those thoughts (see #2 above) and compassionately observe them (#4). Then you can take inspired action (#7).
9. Become your money
Try this metaphor tool from Martha Beck: Become your money. Yes, pretend to be your money – whatever it is – your checking account, your retirement fund… Let the consciousness of your money fill your mind and then describe it and ask it how you can best manage it.
Ask: What is your purpose? How are you trying to help me? This process takes you out of the logical left brain (which creates fear) and into your creative right brain. You can bypass your fear and uncover wisdom (and sometimes humor).
10. Play games
If money is energy and it acts like an animal, what animal would it be? Is it an animal you want around you or is it a smelly, mangy mutt? Describe the animal and the scene around it. If the animal is running away, how can you invite it into your life?
How can you change your animal/image to make it more friendly and accessible? Money avoids people who are afraid and grasping and comes to people who like it and are sure of it. How can you become a better friend to money? Recall ways that money came to you and review this in your mind. Dwell on it.
11. Less T.V.
Let go of this need to watch the news which feeds our fears (and is paid for by advertising for drugs & products that promise to solve our problems). Look for evidence that people can thrive in this economy.
Look for your own evidence to counter the media stories. Read biographies of success stories.
12. What is perfect about this?
Ask yourself what good has come out of this situation. Have you learned to live on less? Do you feel permission to spend less on parties or gifts? Have you accepted that you are human? Do you have a new appreciation for your job? Have you been able to spend more time with friends and family? Exercise more? Do you feel less attachment to things?
Find the meaning in it. There may be an even deeper meaning than we find in accumulation, success, and building up our egos.
13. Personal worth vs. net worth
Remember that you are not your bank account, your house, the car you drive, the clothes you wear… You are not even your thoughts. You are too amazing to be described my mere words.
Wayne Dyer suggests that we empty ourselves of the ideas that we are: what we have, what we do, what other people think of us, separate from everyone else, separate from what’s missing in our lives, and separate from God. See yourself in everyone.
14. Tap into the wisdom and perspective of your “future self”
What would your future self say to you right now? Might she say that everything is already o.k.? That you have grown stronger? That life is an adventure in learning? That it was a chance to re-create your life? That tough times can be a gift? Think of times in your life when things were tough and it all turned out alright.
15. Connect with other people
Understand that everyone has stresses and fears. Do not pretend that you’re perfect or that everything is always sunny. That is not the nature of life. When we pretend, we alienate ourselves from others and waste time that we could have been connecting with people who can support us and visa versa.
Give yourself permission to have fun, enjoy life, and sleep soundly tonight. Isn’t that why you want more money? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below
This article was written by Maura Captain. Maura, a Certified Life Coach, trained by Martha Beck, bestselling author and columnist for O: The Oprah Magazine, has been a school psychologist for over ten years and a university instructor for over six years. To find out more about Maura, visit: www.blueprintlifedesign.com