“We are human beings, not human doings.” ~ Deepak Chopra
My friends it’s time for another love letter. I write these letters to you out of love and care for your health. And when I talk about health and stress together I am always talking about both Emotional AND Physical health!
It is actually a dear friend of mine who prompted this letter. I won’t throw her under the bus by calling her out by name, but here’s how our conversation went:
Dear Chronic Worrier,
It’s time for another one of my “love letters” to the world. I’ve written love letters before about giving up one’s addiction to being busy and making sure you put the oxygen mask on yourself first . This love letter is written in the same vein. Just like being busy all of the time has harmful effects on your health, so does chronic worry.
I have lived my entire life with a woman who is a self-admitted chronic worrier. Hi Mom ☺ I tease her that her love language is worry.
While I can be more lighthearted about it now, that was not really the case when I was growing up. My mom’s worrying about everything takes its toll not only on her, but on those around her as well.
“Financial envy can be the cause of a lifetime of debt and unhappiness.” Erin Aultman
How often do you hear about “keeping up with the Joneses”? Are you guilty of doing this yourself? This is an unhealthy way to live and it has to stop!
I can remember when I was young and feeling bad because one of, or all of my friends, had the most popular pair of shoes. And, if I’m being honest, up until about ten years ago, sometimes those same feelings would come over me when one of my friends was on a really nice vacation and I didn’t have the resources to take such a luxurious trip. Then I’d start to feel frustrated and angry with myself and the universe because I am not living my dream life and it seems like everyone around me is having the time of their lives. It feels awful and it is unhealthy to think like this because I know that I can have anything and everything that I want, I just need to change my mindset.
With the increasing popularity of social media, celebrity magazines, and reality TV, it has become so easy to get sucked into making comparisons. But this is not a good way to spend your time for several reasons:
When you compare everything you know about yourself to what you see of someone else, it is not a fair comparison because you are only seeing what others choose to let you see. For example: do you know how your neighbors are paying for that nice cruise they take every year during the holidays? They could be putting it all on a credit card and putting themselves further and further into debt. Meanwhile, you are focused on paying off your car so that you do not have car payments and can afford to take a nice trip in another year or two.
Not all financial goals are created equally. Some of us prefer to drive a new car and trade ours in each year. Some of us would rather not have a car payment for the rest of our lives, so we pay off our vehicles and drive that baby until it no longer runs. Some of us would rather rent a home so we don’t have all the responsibilities that come with buying our own home. This does not mean one of us is wrong and one of us is right, it just means we have different priorities. What is important is how we feel about our own current financial situation, and if you aren’t happy with yours, you need to be aware of some of these comparisons you might be making so that you can recognize them when you are doing it and check yourself.
Financial envy can be the cause of a lifetime of debt and unhappiness. When you fall victim to financial envy you are going to find it very hard to be satisfied with your financial situation.
We must choose happiness over the battle to keep up by creating attainable goals for ourselves and compare ourselves to our own goals. Then we celebrate our wins and update our goals as we reach them.
Action step: Stop with the comparisons already, financial envy does not look good on anyone.
Pay attention to how you feel when you recognize some financial envy creeping up on you the next time your BFF buys the newest model of the iPhone and change your thoughts around it. Be happy for them and remember that those are not your financial goals. You are working on your relationship with money and having a new iPhone isn’t in your budget right now. The phone you have works perfectly for your current situation. Then pat yourself on the back because you are one step closer to finding financial peace.
If you are comfortable with sharing, comment below about a time when you have had financial envy and tell us how it made you feel. There is no judgment here, we are all working together to improve our money mindset and I guarantee you are not the only one here who is guilty of feeling like this at some point or another. What is important is recognizing it and working to change it so that you feel better about your current situation. If you are not comfortable sharing, that is ok too, just be sure to take inventory of it for yourself so that you can work on fixing it.
A financial transformation specialist who partners with women to transform their money mindset and help them create a love affair with money that will make anyone jealous! Erin has a Masters of Science in Accountancy and has studied money mindset, as it relates to us individually and in our businesses, and the taxes that we pay, for over a decade.
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Three steps to survive back to school. Try Not To Overreact, Set Boundaries, and Take Extra Good Care of YOU.
I don’t know about y’all, but back-to-school time is always a humdinger in our family! Don’t get me wrong, I am always grateful to have my little lovelies go back into the care of those sainted teachers. But…
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t-you’re right.” -Henry Ford
When I started my journey to becoming financially fit, just a little over a decade ago, I had no idea where I was headed. I knew I needed to make some serious changes in my relationship with money because I was nowhere close to where I wanted to be, where I dreamed of being all my life. I knew I had the drive, I knew what I wanted my financial future to look like, but I didn’t know why I just couldn’t seem to get ahead and reach my goals of being financially free.
So what was stopping me? My money mindset!
Now some of you may be thinking, what in the world is money mindset and why should I care? I get it, I had no idea what it was until I started searching for a way to dig my way out of the $25,000 of debt I had got myself into because I wasn’t aware of the somewhat toxic relationship I had with money. I was living paycheck to paycheck and I wasn’t paying attention to where I was spending my money. I knew how much money I had in my bank account and when it was gone, it was gone. By the last few days of the month I’d be eating ramen noodles and driving around on the fumes in my gas tank hoping I’d have enough to make it to the bank to cash my check on payday. I was MISERABLE!
It’s a very rainy Monday here in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. And honestly, having an upbeat mindset can be a challenge for me on these gray days! Being from San Diego, California I am definitely a sunshine person. Yet, I have learned to make a peaceful living day even if it’s gray. I’m cuddled up in my bed, the fireplace is on, I have my fuzzy socks on and my kitty is dozing at my feet. So I say, “let it rain because I feel warm and snuggy & peaceful!”
But, what about those days that are emotionally gray? Are you rushing through life feeling like you are in a gray haze sometimes? Can you find a way to feel peace and joy on those emotionally gray days? I know, sometimes that gray haze of stress just weighs us down. Some days it’s all we can do to make it through each day. I’ve been there! I know what it’s like to spend most of my moments wishing that each part of my day would just hurry up and happen so that I can get home and into bed.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is, you do not have to live that way! You can get your stress under control and start living each moment as if you don’t want that moment to pass because you are enjoying it so much!
You CAN live a happy, peaceful life!
Again, I know because I have been there. Here is the formula I use:
HAPPY DAYS = I embrace them with gratitude!
GRAY DAYS = I stay in each moment and detach from the overall feeling of the day.
And you can do this too!
You can live a peaceful, joy-filled life, in spite of the gray days!
BUT, YOU HAVE TO STOP MAKING EXCUSES!
Here are some of the top excuses I hear:
- My job is so stressful that I can’t do anything about my stress.
- My spouse/ partner makes me so unhappy I can’t do anything about my stress.
- My kids’ schedule is so busy that I can’t do anything about my stress.
- I am so busy that I can’t do anything about my stress.
- I have health problems, and I don’t feel good, so I can’t do anything about my stress.
Here is what one of my favorite authors, Jack Canfield, has to say about those types of excuses:
- You are 100% responsible for your life!
- You can decide to make an excuse and live with your stress and unhappiness.
- Or, you can adjust your response to life’s events and take responsibility for a different outcome.
- Event + Response = OUTCOME
You are 100% responsible for your life! ~ Jack Canfield
On first read, this can sound very harsh. But, I promise you it’s not. I’m not saying that very hard, challenging things don’t have an effect on us as human beings. I’m not saying that your job isn’t stressful, that your relationship isn’t hurting or that your kids’ schedules are not overwhelming. What I am saying is that through taking responsibility for yourself – how you think, how you care for yourself, what choices you make, HOW YOU RESPOND to life’s challenging events – you absolutely can have a peaceful, joy-filled life, irrespective of your circumstances!
At this point you may be asking: But, how do I do that Jen?
You need to figure that out for yourself, or even better, with a coach, friend or therapist! It’s about YOU taking responsibility for YOU! But, here are a few examples to go along with the “excuses” I mentioned above:
Excuse 1: “My job is so stressful…”
- First, make a list of the things you like about your job.
- Write out and say why you are grateful for these things.
- Second, make a list of the things that are stressful about your job.
- Problem-solve to find ways to alleviate the stress. Bring in a trusted friend, family member, coach or therapist to help you with this if you need.
- If you just cannot find a way to solve the problems look for another job or way of making money – i.e. entrepreneurship, an online business, even driving for Uber.
Excuse 2: “My spouse/ partner makes me so unhappy…”
- First, realize that you cannot control another person. You can only control yourself.
- Second, work on yourself and your own happiness. You may be pleasantly surprised that when you change your way of being, your spouse starts to change as well.
- Third, seek counseling!
- Fourth, figure out what each of you needs in the relationship and then start filling those needs for your partner. Again, you may be surprised at how your partner will respond by filling your needs.
- And while doing all of these things, communicate mindfully! Mindful communication makes all the difference.
Excuse 3: “My kids’ schedule is so busy…”
- This one is easy! Give both yourself and your kids a break and unscheduled them!
- Only allow them one sport or activity at a time.
- If the travel team is eating your time, have your kids play club sports instead. They will survive!
- If you are one of those parents who just won’t lessen your kids’ sports and activities, then at the very least, find a carpool.
Excuse 4: “I am so busy…”
Excuse 5: “I have health problems…”
- This is definitely one of the more difficult situations. Poor health and chronic pain are very hard to live with. But, it can be done.
- Know that you will need to live differently than you have in the past.
- Take exceptionally good care of yourself, both physically and emotionally.
- Ask for and be open to receiving help.
- Be mindfully accepting of your new normal.
- Find gratitude in the little things
THE BAD NEWS
The bad news is that if you don’t get your stress under control you are at risk of many stress-related diseases: heart disease; stroke; diabetes ; certain cancers; thyroid conditions ; the list goes on and on!
BACK TO THE GOOD NEWS
You can take small steps to lower the level of chronic stress in your life.
You do not have to live with chronic stress or the dis-ease it brings.
Changing your mindset and giving up your excuses is the first step!
Stick with me! I have lots of tips, techniques, motivation, inspiration & encouragement for you!
Would you like some of that?
Love & Light Y’all!