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Mindfulness and Money? Where’s the connection?

Mindfulness Expert Ann Marie Ireland can help you challenge your mindset that is keeping you stuck in that rut.

So you may be wondering from all that you have learned about mindfulness so far and maybe in other courses, how you could possibly find it useful when it comes to your finances. It seems they are poles apart. Actually, mindfulness can really be a strong aid and guide to you when it comes to your financial health. Firstly, the more present and grounded we are, the better choices we will make when it comes to spending and saving our hard-earned income.

In mindful practice, we train our attention to bring it back to our breath, our senses or our feet in order to become calmer and more present to ourselves and to others. This is important as it leads to a more balanced and enriched every day life. The key to this is self-compassion; a gentleness towards ourselves in our mindful practice so when our mind strays (which it most certainly will!), we gently guide it back to the present, rather than berate ourselves for straying in the first place so our intention is not to rid ourselves of our thoughts but to simply notice when they drift away and bring them back again and again. Therefore we are getting to know our thoughts a lot better; we are checked in and ‘in tune’ like when the radio or internet has a perfect signal!

So if then, we are more in tune with our thoughts, we are grounded and more present. So then when an item pops up online or yousee something in store and you want to buy it on impulse, you are more likely to pause and reflect on it as a result of practicing mindfulness daily and ‘checking in’ with yourself. Mindfulness allows you to acknowledge this item, check in if it is really needed and return to the work that you are doing or to long-term financial goal that you may have in mind. Mindful awareness also gives us the freedom to navigate our financial health with greater wisdom and calm.

Many of us experience a lot of stress when it comes to money and financial issues that we may have; a lack of money, making ends meet, not understanding your own accounts, worrying about paying bills etc. Mindfulness meditation offers us a space where we can still the mind to the point where we know where to begin. If you can imagine for a moment that your mind is similar to a body of water; the sea or a river or lake. Sometimes the water is stormy; huge waves are present and the waters are choppy. When our minds are like this, we cannot possibly make any wise decisions or choices about money. We also won’t be able to see any solutions as the waters are too stormy to decipher or see anything useful. But when we meditate, when we are mindful, the mind naturally begins to calm. The worries are still there but they settle to the bottom of the water like sediment on the seabed. They haven’t disappeared but are much clearer to us. Also, remember that the water is never going to be perfectly still and calm; it will have ripples and movement but it is when the water is calmer that we can go about figuring out solutions to financial problems. We don’t ever order the mind to ‘be calm!’ This only frustrates the mind even more. We simply allow it to BE whatever it is and in this way, it settles naturally.

We cannot possibly make healthy financial choices or see solutions when the mind is in chaos. The first thing to do is to mindfully meditate. We calm the waters, focus on the breath and then we create a space for the solution to be seen; to float up. This is the first step. The first step is the most important one.