(Today’s post is part 3 in a series of guest posts on losing emotional weight: the weight of clutter, of fear public speaking, and the weight of stuff. You can read last week’s post on public speaking here, and the previous post on clutter here.)
How to Lose the Weight of Financial Stress
Sue seemed to have it all. She made good money, lived in a gorgeous house with her adoring husband, and had two beautiful kids. Her friends and family through she had it made.
But inside, she felt trapped, driven by thoughts of running out, of not having enough, of not looking good enough, of people leaving. She put on a good front but inside it was eating her alive.
Maybe you can relate – the pressure to make more or to appear more successful? Or to get out of debt? Or that desperate need to feel like you are safe, even if something bad happens?
Heavy, isn’t it?
Money stress weighs you down, affecting your relationships, your self-esteem, your happiness, and your waist line! It can even cause the same fight-or-flight adrenaline kick as if you were being chased by tigers.
Pleasant thought, huh?
And it doesn’t matter how much you make or how much you are worth. There are people worth millions having the same stress. They argue about it in their relationships. They feel ashamed, insecure, guilty, and scared. They beat themselves up because they spend too much, or not enough, or on the wrong things, or in a way that doesn’t fit with the stories they grew up with.
It’s enough to make a person crazy!
But WHY? How does money get such a hold on us, even when we seem to have it all? And more importantly, how can you get rid of that constant weight on your shoulders?
Money isn’t just money to most people. It is emotional. It is freedom, security, self-esteem, guilt, status, and shame, all squished up into little green pieces of paper (or numbers on a screen). It can build us up or weigh us down.
So how do you ditch the emotional weight around money?
- Take care of your money as you would like to be taken care of. Set up systems to help you easily track where your money is going (like mint.com) and make sure you are spending based on what is most important to you. Money – like you body and your relationships – responds to attention and caring.
- Get real – with yourself, and your partner, if you have one. Where are you out of integrity? Do you feel scared, ashamed, or guilty? Why? Is that a story you heard as a child? Is it really true? What would you say to your child or best friend who was in the exact same situation?
- Appreciate what your money does for you and your life. Write down 20 things you are thankful for, ranging from heat to good food to luxury vacations, if you take them. Gratitude is a powerful force.
- Create a money goal and start DOING. Do you want more investments? Open an account or talk to a financial planner. Do you want to get out of debt? Look for spending that you can re-direct toward debt, and make a plan. Do you need to take better care of yourself? Schedule a massage or go for a walk (because yes, not taking care of yourself is bad for your money too). Doing creates confidence, even if you “fail.” Take baby steps, and keep on stepping.
Sue dropped that “money weight” and so can you. Fast.
We are all the same, my dear, and you are not alone. Those feelings you have that wake you up at night, cause stress in your relationships, and keep you small? It doesn’t have to be that way.