You’ve always purchased whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. It’s part of your mentality: you “deserve” to have the things you want because you work so hard.
Adding another $100 to your credit card bill thinking you’ll “pay it off” with your next check is perfectly normal. Um, what about the other $10,987 you said that about?
Nothing’s changed, and you’re feeling increasingly worse the deeper you fall into debt. The problem is, the worse you feel, the more you want to spend to make it better.
Trust me. It never works that way.
Instead of making yourself feel better, you’ve bought more guilt, and that’s always expensive.
$12,764 later, you don’t know what else to do with yourself, and it hurts. You can’t stop spending.
Here’s the thing, though. You can, starting the second you change your mind.
You’ve heard the saying, “Change your mind, change your results.” It’s true. When you truly believe you’re above your spending habits, you can control them. They no longer dictate when your money leaves your wallet, since that’s left to your common sense.
Meditation can help you change your mind and facilitate better decisions.
Meditation Leads to Mental Change
There’s a new phenomenon sweeping the world that can help you transform your thoughts. Only, it’s not new; it dates back to around 1500 BC.
The earliest written records of meditation started with Buddhists and Taoists, who recognized the inherent power of the mind. The tradition of harnessing that power continues today. Only now, you’ll find it discussed — not only in yoga — but in businesses, schools, and child development classes.
Scientists have determined that meditation changes the brain physiologically — increasing the density of gray matter in the brain stem and thereby increasing the folds in the brain and cortical thickness. Simply put, the benefits of meditation range from, but aren’t limited to, faster information processing, better judgment, and less pain.
We once thought that meditation only calmed the mind, but studies now show that the benefits are farther reaching.
How to Curb Bad Spending Habits with Meditation
If you want to increase your brain’s capacity, make better decisions, and curb your worst spending habits, these five steps are a great start.
1. Find a mantra or chant that resonates with your goal.
For example, if you want to start thinking through your decisions better, you might try something like, “Gained materials means lost money” or “I’m happy where I am.” The specificity of your mantra doesn’t matter, but you must determine the words that reflect your goals and help you feel empowered.
2. Repeat your mantra each morning as you wake.
With traditional meditation, you’ll need to sit silently, with your back supported, as you control your breath and repeat your mantra, maintaining your focus for at least five minutes. As you learn to calm your mind, you can work your way up to 15 minutes. The key is to resharpen your focus once you recognize that your mind has started to wander.
3. Repeat your mantra throughout your day, as needed.
Try practicing it in the same sitting position. If you can’t, then focus on your breathing as you repeat your words of peace, wherever you are. I’ve found that chunks of 25 repetitions scattered throughout my day really help to return my mind’s focus when the hustle and bustle of business begins to strip it.
4. Repeat this before sleep.
You should be in the same sitting position for a minimum of five minutes.
5. Meditate before social situations.
To bolster efforts, make sure you take a moment to meditate before going out with friends, shopping, or eating out. Extra meditation will help your brain focus on the goal of better spending habits before you leave.
When starting your meditation practice, it’s important to be patient. Though all this talk of rewiring your brain makes it sound like you’re flipping a switch inside your decision-maker, in reality, it’s more like digging new tunnels of thought. It usually takes about 40 days for meditation to show signs of changes in your thought patterns and actions.
This isn’t a quick fix method, but it does work.
Have you ever tried meditation? Has it worked for you?