Novemeber 8, 2021
Gratitude and Money
Being that November is a time of thanks in the US, we are starting to see the word gratitude poised around us on decorations, food, and in the media. Yet, how much effort do we give to practicing gratitude towards money?
Let’s be honest, most of us have a complicated relationship with money. For some, money can be a constant stress, a paycheck to paycheck cycle, that can lead to ongoing chronic mental and/or physical states. Others may have money but fear or avoid it, giving money unwieldy power and influence in our lives. Additionally, others may struggle with what amount of money is “enough”. That being said, can practicing gratitude actually improve our relationship with money? And, if so, how?
Take Full Advantage of Gratitude
If you want to fully take advantage of this time of year, foster a practice of giving and receiving GRATITUDE. Often an underutilized mindfulness tool, gratitude, whether applied through thought, sentiments, or writing, is about focusing on what is good in our lives. Gratitude can be as simple as appreciating the beautiful Fall trees, thanking someone for opening a door, or looking forward to family and friends getting together this season. Receiving gratitude is accepting (not deflecting) others’ gratitude towards you.
The Benefits of Gratitude
In short, practicing and receiving gratitude has positive psychological, physical, and social benefits. Psychologically it enhances our moods, physically it strengthens our immune system, and socially it connects us to others and improves our relationships. It helps us slow down, be present, and really listen and connect to others. It can improve sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. The benefits also extend to practicing and receiving money gratitude. Below read on for examples on how money gratitude improves emotional health, dealing with adversity, and building strong relationships.
Improving our emotional health
Gratitude helps you feel more positive emotions thus reducing negative ones which can lead to self-loathing, and withdrawal. For example, instead of saying or thinking, “I am not good with money”, say, “I am able to navigate any financial obstacles that come my way”. Practicing gratitude and reaping the benefits is something that takes time, application, and consistency.
Dealing with adversity
Practicing gratitude can help us feel mentally stronger when faced with hardships or difficulties. For example, if you are experiencing living paycheck to paycheck, consider whether it is something beyond your control at this moment. It could be related to financial conflict, hardship or trauma that occurred recently, remotely, or in childhood such as divorce, abuse, or financial insecurity. Rather, in this instance, focus on loving kindness. Often we try to do or expect too much of ourselves and it is counter productive.
One type of Loving Kindness meditation (abbreviated):
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Place your hand initially on your belly and breathe deeply in and out.
- Once you feel the warmth in your belly, move your hand to your heart.
- Recall a time of loving kindness you received from a friend, a loved one, or a stranger.
- Breathe in and out.
- May I be safe.
- May I be healthy.
- May I be content.
- May I be at ease.
- May I be filled with loving-kindness.
Building strong relationships
Practicing gratitude brings calm, openness, and curiosity, which, in turn, makes it easier for us to connect with others and be open to receiving. For example, if you have been anxious about market changes and your sympathetic nervous system is activated (flight or fight), reach out to a trusted friend that can listen to and validate you which will bring calm to your being. You don’t have to go through it alone.
Mariah is a Financial Therapist in Sacramento, California who works with individuals, couples and entrepreneurs to heal their money stories.. She is passionate about helping others to take mindful control of their finances. She does online or in-person as well as group counseling. See korufinancialtherapy.com for more information.