Research shows that money is at the top of the list of reasons we stress. According to the American Psychological Association, over 70 percent of Americans report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time. Over time, unconscious spending patterns and messy money habits wreak havoc on our health. Financial strain and emotional distress go hand in hand. Anyone who's been in debt knows it can consume our life force and lead to sleep deprivation and depression.
The good news is that a new era of wealth creation is emerging. Holistic living is making its way into money. Studies are showing that gratitude reduces excessive economic impatience (impulsive spending as an example). Radiant well-being and authenticity is the new business card.
Think of the last time you attended a workshop or seminar. Was there someone in the room whose energy pulled you in? I have made it a habit to connect with these brilliant people and do business with them as often as possible. Gone are the days of inauthentic networking and competitive hustling. I look back to my first few networking events as a young entrepreneur. My instructions were to get as many business cards and give as many referrals as possible. "It's a numbers game," I was told.
This was one of my most cherished pieces of work. It gives me permission to let go of all that no longer serves me. I have a practice in my own business of supporting others without expectation. I don't keep tabs on who returns the favor or exchanges the promo post. I have greater things to do with my time and life force. I don't micromanage and I certainly don't try to manipulate situations. These are just a few examples of a mindful money philosophy in business and in life.
With the evolution of online community building, we attract what we are. Here's how you can start your mindful money practice today:
1. Embrace minimalist principles.
Minimalism and mindful money go hand in hand. You don't necessarily need to scrap your current residence for a tiny house but this movement is definitely trending up. Several interviews I've done on air for my book have brought up the tiny house trend. What I will say is that lightening up in my life did wonders for my health, my mind, and my body. I instantly shed five pounds when I decluttered my life.
2. Set clear boundaries.
The trouble with boundaries is they can be easy to grasp but difficult to implement. I knew for years that learning to gracefully say no was becoming more and more important. Being a people pleaser was sucking me dry. Consider blocking non-negotiable time in your calendar for well-being, quiet, and health. I spend some soulful Sunday time each week for creativity. This time can be spent creating meals, dreamy goals, and space for the week ahead. If you schedule space—be aware that your former busy mind will try to fill it! Don't cave—evolution can be uncomfortable. You will thank yourself when your life becomes more spacious than chaotic.
3. Build or join a conscious community.
If you're a business owner, tribe building becomes as important as brushing your teeth. We get into trouble, however, when we become obsessed with numbers, followers, and profits—we can disconnect from our hearts and become extreme and obsessive. Chose quality and kindness over gaining more followers. Be grateful for every gift received and always treat people with the love and respect you crave.
4. Have a consistent practice.
We may not all have the time to practice yoga, meditation, and nature hikes daily but having a few daily non-negotiables where your wellness is concerned is a must. Releasing stale air and energy out of the body will not only create space for mindful money, but it will reduce your impulses to emotionally spend. This has been absolutely true in my own life. Visualize yourself into wealth as well! Visualizing yourself exactly where you intend to be is truly how I got myself here. Once your holistic wealth destination is crystal clear in your mind, move it to a vision board. Visually focusing on your desired destination each day will create money momentum. Another great practice for money mindfulness is a mantra. Mantras such as "I am worthy of great wealth" and "I vibe on the wavelength of wealth" are two of my personal favorites.
5. Leverage yourself.
Leverage is where it's at. When we lack leverage in our life, we become victim to our own hectic life. When we let go of our "I have to do it myself" philosophy, our world opens up to new possibilities and people. Make a list of unhealthy habits and beliefs that are sucking the life out of you. If you're a business owner, consider teaming up with a fellow entrepreneur and splitting the cost for some administrative support. I do however, recommend following intuition when it comes to outsourcing. Some of the activities you enjoy doing (but aren't necessarily the best use of your time) may be keeping you grounded. Now that I have kids, it makes me feel happy to tidy up the house for my family. I am, however, currently on the hunt for a housekeeper who will take over the deep-cleaning duties.
6. Trust your gut.
Mindful money practices are rooted in living more intentionally and intuitively. Freeing your mind and body from fear takes serious intention and patience but is so worth the ride. Raise the bar for yourself to vibe on a wavelength of wealth and of truth. Learning to trust your gut and feel its language will serve you well in life and in money. Your sixth sense has all the answers and wants you to thrive. Don't push those intuitive nudges away because of fearful and scarcity thoughts. Remember that the money you make and the opportunities you chase out of fear and ego are not sustainable in the long run—they are not created on a foundation of truth.
7. Choose harmony over hustle.
Instead of trying to keep up, catch up, and kiss up—make a vow to yourself to embrace your highest self. Implement simple changes into your life that will benefit your well-being and your money. Set clear boundaries for yourself, create more space on your calendar, and learn to lovingly say no. When you put yourself first, watch what happens to your spending. When you feel peaceful inside, you really don't need so much on the outside.
8. Use love language.
There is a patience and kindness crisis in the world today. I raised the bar for myself six months ago, when I became curious about how often I complained and project my junk on others (sorry, hubby!). My husband is the most patient person I know and would kindly listen to my complaints. My new formula is to be more aware of the energy this dumps on him—he deserves my bright light, not my daily trash. Detoxing is not just about our physical bodies and environments. Detoxing our life from complaining, drama, and gossip may not be easy, but it is necessary if you desire to be a mindful money maker.
Mindful money-making is not only fulfilling but a more conscious and healthy approach to growing your empire and leaving a legacy. I am exposing my triumphs and my traumas this year as I advocate for greater kindness, authenticity, and mindfulness in personal finance and in enterprise.
Leanne Jacobs, MBA, is a clinical nutritionist, pilates and yoga instructor, holistic wealth expert, and author of Beautiful Money. She lives in Toronto, Canada and received her master's in business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Jacobs is a regular contributor at Forbes, Entrepreneur, Glamour, Women's Health, Women's Day, and more.