I took an informal survey to find out what most people are stressed about these days–and it’s no surprise to me that the #1 answer is MONEY! Small business owners worry how they are going to meet payroll and vendor bills, parents worry how they will afford their kids’ education or their own retirement, entrepreneurs worry how they will replace their previous income while building their new business, and everybody seems to be worrying how to enjoy life when they can’t seem to reach their money goals.
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Chronic stress affects everything in your life: your relationships, your job satisfaction, your health, and your sense of personal fulfillment. It’s important to find ways to get your stress level down to a manageable level, but usually when someone is filled with anxiety, and the bills are piling up, it can be hard to consider that relief could be just a thought away. However, that is true, and the reason is that we become what we think about. The more you think about your money worries, the more worries will flood to you, because they are in harmony with whatever your focus of attention is, and you attract more of the same.
There’s a way out, and it’s a simple three-step process that you can practice right now, use as often as you’d like, and share with family and friends. Here’s what you do:
- Breathe in slowly through your nose to the silent count of four, then hold your breath to the count of four, and slowly exhale through your mouth to the count of four. Your stress hormones will settle down instead of firing up even more panic. Repeat a few times until you feel a bit calmer. Understand what you are seeking is a sense of relief so that your mind is open to the next step in this process.
- Bring to mind the outcome that you desire. Perhaps there is a specific amount of money that would bring great relief to you at this time. Imagine how it would feel if that money was in your bank account, and that even after paying the bills, there would be a delightful surplus of funds available to you. How would it feel? Did your shoulders just drop a little? Maybe you didn’t even realize how tensed you’ve been, and how tightly you’ve been holding your body. Shake your arms, wriggle around, signal your body and mind that change is coming. Keep that feeling of relief in your thoughts and bask in how wonderful it feels now the money stress has vanished.
- While holding that feeling of relief, and visualizing yourself smiling at your employees or coworkers and enjoying a few high-fives because you have turned a financial corner, consider an action step you can take in the next five minutes that will lead you toward your success. It might be making a phone call you’ve been putting off because it felt uncomfortable and you worried how the other person would react to you. Go do it now. Successful people make it a habit to do the things they know must be done, even when they don’t really want to do those things. They put the success of the business or project first, and step into the required action. That means, whatever is on your list that you’ve been avoiding even though you know it’s important, contains the seeds to the success and money freedom you desire. But nothing will happen if the bright ideas just stay on paper and never see the light of day.
When you are stuck in a worry and stress mode, that zone of fear will keep you paralyzed. Use the three steps above, take an action, keep visualizing your success and feel it as being real. Think of what you want, not what you don’t want. That’s the key to changing your results.