Updated: May 13
Impulse buys wreak havoc on your budget. Whether it's that last minute item in your cart just before checkout or a deal you can't pass. But did you know that Americans spend an average of $450 per month on impulse buys? That's a lot of money over a lifetime…$324,000 in fact.
Staying present might be the key to curbing impulse buys so you can spend your money on the things you really want.
Meditation at its core is about mindfully returning to the present moment. Becoming centered in the present allows you to connect with what is truly important in your life. It’s not just a means of self-control but an exercise to enrich the life you live. A regular meditation practice teaches you to breathe when you're in stressful situations or faced with making decisions. Being more thoughtful and present will help you master your money as well as other aspects of your life.
Here are three ways mindfulness and meditation will help you master your money.
1. Meditation improves your decision-making.
Several studies examined the effect of mindfulness meditation on decision making. In one study, 15-minutes of focused breathing was shown to help people make smarter choices. Another study showed that meditation affects brain activities associated with cognitive control, emotional regulation, and empathy which led to improved decision making.
2. Use meditation to visualize your goals.
Paint a picture of what your money goals look like. Imagine yourself reaching those goals. Notice how that feels in your body. Remember that feeling when you're spending money. Using this technique will force you to choose between reaching your money goals or making unnecessary purchases.
3. Meditation combats physical responses to financial stress.
It goes without saying that dealing with money issues creates financial stress. And that stress translates to your body. Over time, stress has real consequences on your health. In an 8-week study, meditation was shown to reduce the inflammatory response caused by stress.
Go easy on yourself. Just like creating any new habit, it takes time to integrate meditation into your daily life. Start with just five minutes a day of sitting quietly or walking in silence. When something in your day provokes a negative response, take three breaths to center your thoughts. In no time, you'll reap the rewards of a daily meditation practice.
Jessica Crow helps people harness the power of meditation and mindfulness to change their own lives and the lives of others through practical courses and personalized mentorship.
Find out more about the next 100- Hour online CNTRD Meditation Teacher Training starting April 9th, and her new book 'The Power of Guided Meditation'.