How to Bring Mindfulness to Your Money Emotions

written by Bari Tessler January 7, 2022
how to bring mindfulness to your money emotions

Dear Money Adventurer,

Welcome to the second piece in our Money Mocha series, which is a series of piping-hot, short, sweet jolts of money wisdom to start off your day.

I’m serving these mochas to your virtual table to celebrate the opening of our short registration period for The Art of Money 2022, but also because I love sharing free, timely money support that can help you get 2022 off to a solid start.

Whether we like it or not, money is an emotional subject – one that most of us were taught to avoid.

So, while we might bring mindfulness to every other part of our lives – from how we eat, breathe and move our bodies to our personal relationships, spirituality, and sexuality – we neglect to bring this same awareness to money. When confronted with an overdue tax bill or a hefty credit card balance, we tend to get scattered, overwhelmed, panicked, or go numb.

Perhaps it looks like…

A sinking feeling of guilt about overspending after a late-night, online shopping spree.

Or a sense of overwhelm when you even imagine sitting down to pay the bills

Or a knot of shame in the pit of your stomach when you try to think about the future and saving money.

Or maybe your heart starts racing and you feel nervous at the very thought of talking to your sweetie about household expenses.

A lot of the emotions we feel about money are really uncomfortable. You might just want to shut down and make them STOP. But even the most challenging emotions have important messages and gifts to share when it comes to money.

For better or worse, money is connected to our survival instincts, identity, self-worth, and tons of deep-seated personal stuff. No wonder it triggers such big, emotional, and instinctive reactions!

It’s common (and totally normal!) to feel shame, frustration, anxiety, anger, fear, guilt, sadness, joy, excitement, hope, confidence, and everything in between.

Understanding our personal money emotions is an essential life skill.

Money work isn’t about getting rid of our emotions, but learning to respond to them. If we want to break the cycle of overwhelm, we need to learn how to acknowledge our emotions, notice them in our bodies, and sit with those feelings without pushing them away.

Wading into our money emotions is a big deal —
this work is intensely personal and oh so brave.

Here we travel lightly, armed with self-love, compassion, and gentle curiosity, to bring more mindfulness, self-care, and understanding to our money emotions, one step at a time.

Take a deep breath and allow yourself to notice the emotions that are coming up for you as you read this.

Do you feel Anxious? Embarrassed? Ashamed?

Are you carrying Anger, Sadness, Frustration?

Perhaps you find yourself sitting with Guilt or Fear.

Allow yourself to simply notice your emotions, naming them as they make themselves known to you, without labeling them as “good” or “bad” or “right” or “wrong.” Draw your attention inward and tune in to how your body responds to your emotions – does your chest feel tight? Is your breath shallow and fast? Is your mind racing?

Deep breath. Learning to be present in the moment with what we are feeling is a powerful practice in growing our awareness.

Grab a notebook, your favorite pen, and cozy up with your coffee as you move through the exercise below, or simply take notes on your phone if that feels more accessible for you – you can even print this email and use the journaling space provided below!

What is the main emotion that you’re experiencing right now?

What challenging emotions or cocktail of emotions come up frequently for you around money? Shame? Anger? Fear? Guilt? Joy? Sadness? Happiness? Where do you feel it?

Take a deep breath. Pause for a moment and try to think about your last money interaction.

When you were checking out at the grocery store, or exchanging money in some other way, how did it feel? What emotions popped up for you? How does that feel in your body?

Write down what you can remember.

Remember there is no judgment here.

No shame.

No blame.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

When we learn to stay present in the midst of our discomfort, to bring our awareness to name our money emotions without bullying or judging or pushing away, we create space for deeper understanding.

We begin to heal, to unwind the patterns that no longer serve us, and empower ourselves to truly begin a new journey of renewal and rebirth.

These seemingly small steps are oh so powerful.

You just took a beautifully brave step forward in your relationship with money.

If you would like to continue to bring more mindfulness, more personal meaning, and more financial savvy to your money journey, you don’t have to do it alone. You can integrate practical financial tools with body-based practices and a holistic framework to guide you through healthy, sustainable change to transform your relationship with money.

If you would like to ground your new beginning in the guidance of a holistic framework and the loving support of a safe, inclusive, and encouraging community, The Art of Money, my year-long money school and global community is open now.

Join The Art of Money and give yourself permission to begin again.

Deep breath.

You’ve got this.

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