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Stessed about Money (Debt)?

When we think about improving financial situation or reducing debt, the focus is around spending, credit card interest rates and other financial topics.   Yet, this is just ½ the battle. The real battle is with your thoughts, emotions and beliefs about money.   Do you feel fear, anxiety, worry, stress or anger when you think about money or your retirement?  Would you rather feel more peace, love and joy around money?  Of course, but how can you do this? Many believe that if we change the event (debt, income, etc. ) that our feelings will change.   To a certain point this is true because you are reducing a cause of the emotion (debt), however the feeling will pop-up somewhere else.  To feel better about money takes changing our conscious and unconscious beliefs about money.

Typically many people experience life from the viewpoint that an event triggers a thought that triggers a feeling that either forms a belief or supports a pre-existing belief.   For example, when gas prices increase, you may think that prices are too high and someone is making a lot of money off of you. Anger is triggered from the thought that the oil companies are making too much of profit which may enforce a belief that oil companies are greedy.   Thus, the event controls how we feel (angry, worry, etc. ).   Note, the same event can bring up thoughts about how this affects my budget which can then trigger stress about making ends meet.  The stress about the budget can then enforce a belief that money & finances are always a struggle.   Some people may have no emotions to the rising gas prices.  So, a single event can cause different emotions:

Event Higher gas prices Higher gas prices Higher gas prices
Thought Someone is making a profit How will I make ends meet? Oh, the prices are higher
Emotion Anger Stress Peace
Belief Oil companies are greedy Money & finances are a struggle Just supply and demand at work

So, are all emotions caused by the event?  No.   The event is just the trigger.  It is like the light switch that turns on the electricity.  The switch does not create the electricity.  It just turns on the light with the electricity that is already there.   As is the event, the trigger that turns on our emotions based on the beliefs that are already there.   It is similar to a funeral being a somber occasion for some cultures and a celebration for others.  It is based on the beliefs that the participants have about a funeral (celebration of life or a loss of a friend).  If an event caused an emotion instead of beliefs, then the event should cause the same emotion in everyone.

If we have a belief that money is a struggle, an event will make us look at money and we will become stressed out.   Yet, if we have a belief that no matter what happens in life we will adapt, then the same event can just mean that we need to take another look at the budget without bringing up stress or anger.

Some may think that anger or stress is needed to motivate us to work on our debt issues.  No, these emotions if anything will rob us off the energy to get out of debt.  We can do more from a peaceful state than a stressed out state.   Feelings only validate (enforce) our beliefs about money.  Where did getting angry about raising fuel prices get us?   It just got us a series of Congressional panels that did nothing to solve the problem, just rob them of time that they could have spent passing legislation.

So the moral is, if you want to be more peaceful, loving and joyous, then take a look at your beliefs about money and see if they are causing your stress and anger or if they are bringing you peace.   And, know that you can do more about your situation from being at peace than being stressed out by the event.  Being stressed out and angry will only take energy from you that you could have been using to solve the issue.   The question is why would someone want to be stressed or angry instead of being happy?

To learn more about beliefs and how to start to change them see Beliefs.   In particular, if you want to be at more peace with your money, the first step is to practice Gratitude because this starts to change the belief of lack into a belief of abundance.

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