Balance your emotions to better manage your money
How to take control of your relationship with money through the practice of mindful breathing
Did you know that your breath is a super power when it comes to your relationship with money?
Focusing on your breath and practising slow, deep and mindful breathing is not only a simple way to reduce stress and anxiety but it also helps to enhance focus and balance your emotions when it comes to how you use and manage your money. In other words, it helps you to make more intentional money decisions and practice better money habits.
What most people don’t realise is just how much of what you do with your money is habitual and reactive, driven by your emotions, cravings or desires.
By introducing the practice of mindful breathing, you invite in the opportunity to slow down the habitual and reactive tendencies, creating space to reflect and choose mindful, more appropriate responses.
It helps to shift from the state of reacting to responding.
FROM REACTION TO RESPONSE
The breath is a tool you can use to move from reactive and emotional responses and access the healing, calming part of the nervous system (the parasympathetic nervous system).
By introducing mindful breathing techniques into your shopping, spending and money management habits it will help you to make more grounded, calm, clear and focused decisions and take aligned action.
By responding to a situation or decision in the present moment with full awareness, attention and intention, you can begin to align your actions and make smarter and healthier decisions.
UNLEASHING YOUR SUPERPOWER
The most basic way to do mindful breathing is simply to focus your attention on your breath.
The beauty of this superpower and mindful breathing practice is that you can do it anywhere and for any length of time you desire. It can be as simple as pausing to take a few intentional breaths before purchasing an item or spending money, taking your time to make a financial decision or allowing yourself the gift of 5-10 minutes each day to connect to your relationship with money and help you to make more mindful and balanced choices and decisions.
Try this simple mindfulness exercise to help you connect to your money:
Find a relaxed, comfortable position. You could be seated on a chair or on the floor on a cushion. Keep your back upright, but not too rigid or tight. Allow some softness in you being. Allow your hands to rest wherever they’re most comfortable. Let the tongue rest gently on the roof of your mouth or wherever it’s comfortable.
Bring your awareness to your body. Relax your body. Try to notice the shape of your body, its weight. Let yourself relax and become curious about your body —the sensations it experiences, the touch, the connection with the floor or the chair. Notice any areas of tightness or tension you may be holding onto and see if you can direct your breath to these areas to help you relax.
Tune into your breath. Feel the natural flow of breath as it flows in and out of your body and nourishes you. You don’t need to do anything to your breath. Just notice whether you are breathing in long or short. Notice where you feel your breath in your body. It might be in your abdomen. It may be in your chest or throat or perhaps it’s in your nostrils. See if you can feel the sensations of breath, the warmth, the flow, just one breath at a time. When one breath ends, the next breath begins.
Now as you do this, you might notice that your mind may start to wander. You may start thinking about other things, things you have done, or things to do. If this happens, it’s very natural. Just notice that your mind has wandered. You can say “thinking” or “wandering” in your head softly. And then gently redirect your attention right back to the breathing, focusing on your inhalations and exhalations.
Continue breathing like this for a few moments. Notice your breath, in silence. From time to time, you may get distracted or lost in thought, and if so, just return to the flow of your breath.
After a few minutes, once again notice your body, your whole body, seated here. Let yourself relax even more deeply and then offer yourself some appreciation for doing this practice. For giving yourself some space and cultivating a calmer state in which you are more grounded, connected and likely to make more rational (less emotive) and more logic money decisions.
About the author
Wealth & Wellness Editor & Yogi
Lea is an award wining entrepreneur, certified money coach, wellness coach, yoga teacher and mindfulness practitioner. Global Nomad. Dreamer. Creative. Unconventional. Ambivert with a really big heart. Founder of The Mindful Wealth Movement, she travels the world hosting wealth & wellness workshops and retreats. www.leaschodel.com