Financial disorder has a way of creeping into every aspect of your life, including your state of mind. If your financial life is out of sorts, so follows your mood and outlook on life. That’s why getting your financial house in order is paramount to establishing peace and happiness. That’s not to say that you need to become obsessed with money – in fact, it’s the opposite. By getting your finances under control and establishing routines for managing your money, you’ll actually liberate your mind from financial worries, stress and free up space to actually enjoy your life. Still not convinced? Here are just a few of the mental health benefits of getting your financial life squared away.
Better mind and body
An unstable financial life causes a steady onslaught of stress – each time you stare down a pile of bills can take a toll on your body. Some stress in life is normal, but if you are feeling high levels of stress frequently, it can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, elevated blood pressure, trouble sleeping and even chest pain. So when you take some time and get on top of your finances, your stress levels will drop. And when you lower your stress, your body and mind will feel the difference.
Let’s say one big financial stressor in your life is overspending your entertainment budget. As a result, you max out your credit card, pay penalties, and then the cycle repeats itself. It’s a frustrating experience. But if you spend a few minutes working out a way to reign in your spending – like eating a home-cooked meal before going out with friends or hosting a movie night at home instead of doing the whole theater-plus-popcorn-plus-drinks shebang – then you can break the cycle. This very practice of analyzing your problem and coming up with a solution will give you a boost of confidence. It creates a virtuous cycle of good behavior – if you can tackle this issue, you can tackle anything – and the lessons you learn will continue to serve you well in the future.
Stronger sense of your values
This exercise also helps you pause and focus on your deeply held values. It’s easy to get caught up in the flow of your peers and spend your time and money in ways that don’t serve you. But when you analyze your spending from a distance, you’ll be in a better place to assess whether that spending was worth it. You’ll likely find that a lot of big ticket items were a waste of money. That round of drinks, that night at that mediocre but expensive restaurant, that splurge on designer shoes that you never wear – what would you rather spend this money on? This is a healthy realization and will help you focus your spending on things that truly matter to you.
You’ll no longer feel held back in life
When your financial house is in order, when the stress has subsided and you emerge with a stronger sense of your values, you’ll feel liberated to pursue your goals. So often, we use money, or the lack thereof, as an excuse for never chasing our dreams. But when you have a financial plan, you’ll clear your mind of the worry that once occupied it and give it space to imagine all the possibilities for your life.
No matter what financial distress weighs you down, take the time to deal with it head on. It’s tempting to ignore it, but doing that will only be a drag on your psychological health and on your larger life goals. So take small steps now to take control of your finances and you’ll be on your way to a happier, liberated life.
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