A daily mindfulness practice is an important cog in the wheel of self-care and financial wellbeing.
Practicing mindfulness enhances our ability to observe thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. And as you learn in the Financial Social Work certification process, non-judgment and acceptance are key building blocks to creating positive financial behaviors.
Our thoughts, feelings and attitudes about money determine our financial behavior. Creating long-lasting financial wellbeing with positive financial behaviors first involves accepting our present financial situation without judging ourselves or the reasons for being in that situation.
Mindfulness practice gives us a tool – a path – to reach a non-judgmental state of self-awareness and an understanding that our current financial situation is not permanent. Practicing mindfulness will also help us stay positive and know there is always hope as we work to improve our financial circumstances and our lives.
As professionals, we not only need to understand mindfulness and its impact on our health (emotionally, mentally, physically and financially), but we also need to understand how to help our clients begin a daily mindfulness practice. You can share the guide below with your clients to help them develop a daily mindfulness practice of their own.
If you previously haven’t taken time out of your schedule each day for self-care and mindfulness, then now is time to start. You will quickly discover that when you are mindful, every moment is richer, more rewarding and far more fulfilling. You’ll feel more relaxed and energized while reducing everyday stress levels. And then, you’ll have those positive experiences to share with others.
Practicing Mindfulness – A Basic Guide
Starting a daily mindfulness practice need not be complicated. Here are a few simple steps to begin practicing mindfulness each day. Set aside a few minutes of time each day. Then, gradually increase the time you sit mindfully during your daily practice.
- Begin in a quiet, distraction-free place where you can sit peacefully and focus on your breathing. Don’t complicate this first step. You don’t have to go out of your way to find a secluded beach or park. If needed, make your mindfulness spot your favorite chair at home or while seated at your desk at work.
- Cut off your smartphone, put a do not disturb sign on your office door, ask your family to give you some quiet time: Limit the distractions around you as best as possible. If it helps, listen to calming, stress-reducing music or even find an mobile app with the sound of water (ocean waves, bubbling brooks, etc.) to help you relax.
- Next, let’s focus on you. Sit upright with good posture. Relax your shoulders, rest your hands on the tops of your legs, drop your chin slightly and begin to breathe in and out slowly.
- Focus your attention on your breath as you breathe in and out. This will help you detach from distractions. If your thoughts stray (and they will) to today’s chores, work ,etc.; refocus your attention to your breath.
That’s all there is to it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to “get it right” as it is called mindfulness “practice” for a reason. Each day as you practice, you will see progress, and you will see positive benefits in your everyday life. Enjoy your new, daily mindfulness practice and feel free to or on one of our social network channels.
Written By Reeta Wolfsohn, CMSW
Start a Daily Mindfulness Practice to Improve Health and Financial Wellbeing was originally published @ Center for Financial Social Work and has been syndicated with permission.