Money was just a way to exchange value in the beginning. Over time, we have assigned multiple meanings and feelings to it, mostly negative. We stress about it, we want more of it and we feel resentful towards people who seem to have it. Yet, its initial functions are more valid today than ever. With all the new products and services around, imagine having to exchange your offerings for what you need without using money. That would be close to impossible!
Money mindfulness takes us back to the present moment and helps us see money for what it is, a helpful tool designed by us, people, to make our lives easier. Try these easy mindfulness techniques and watch your relationship with money transform.
Do you sometimes buy things on impulse and then realise that you have no use for them? Next time you find yourself reaching for an item you had no intention of buying before you walked into the shop, stop and notice what is going through your mind. Excitement? Fear of missing out? Something else?
Choose to wait for 20 minutes or longer. At the end of that time, you might not even remember about your desire to buy an item, but if you still want it and you go ahead with your purchase, you’ll know that you’ve made a conscious choice. You’re not just spending money, you’re adding real value to your life.
When we think about money, we often experience a range of negative emotions, which can make us act irrationally and not in our best interest. It’s hard to come up with a creative, sustainable solution when you’re under pressure to pay an unexpected bill or you’re wondering where the money is going to come from for your next month’s rent.
You’ll give yourself a better chance of making a good decision if you first come back to the present moment. Look around you. What are you experiencing through your senses that you feel grateful for? The sound of your child’s laughter. Fresh fruit. The smell of your favourite essential oil. Give yourself a moment to enjoy these experiences. Then come back to your money worries. Has anything changed for you? Are you feeling differently? Maybe, you already have some fresh ideas on how to improve your situation?
Focus on value
Gratitude will also help you recognise the value in your money transactions rather than see them as a source of stress. For example, when you receive your electricity bill, you may at first feel resentful that it is another bill to pay. When you remind yourself to choose to look for the value in what you’re paying for, you’ll realise how fortunate you are to have electricity in your home and the resentment will dissipate.
On the other hand, through money mindfulness, you’ll be able to see when you’re not getting enough value from a transaction and stop yourself from going ahead with it. Keep on asking yourself, ‘Am I receiving full value from this?’ and ‘Am I offering full value?’ and the awareness from these two questions will shift the way you spend and make money.
To learn more about mindfulness in your daily life, come to one of our mindfulness retreats in the Blue Mountains and experience for yourself what it feels like to live in the present moment.
Tatiana is a freelance writer and a mum of three living in Sydney. After a 10-years’ break, she has just returned to full-time work. She is still finding time for yoga, meditation and mindfulness, which is making a huge difference to her sanity and her enjoyment of life.