What do you picture when you think of mindfulness?
Meditating monks in golden robes? Luxurious yoga retreats nestled amongst a rainforest? Or a moment spent centering yourself by contemplating the clouds as they float by?
Yes, all of these can be mindfulness practices, as they allow you to focus on the present moment.
But one powerful mindfulness exercise that you may not have considered requires nothing but paper and a pen.
The simple act of money journalling.
Writing down your observations about how you feel, think and interact with money will help you to start noticing them more.
And when you start noticing and becoming more aware of how you relate to money you will gradually feel less impulsive and less stressed. You will start to surf the urge to spend unnecessarily, consume more consciously and consider more meaningful ways to earn, spend and invest your money.
Here are a few ideas to help you start a money mindfulness journal.
Tip #1: You don’t need a fancy journal or pen
Any simple note pad will do. But it is important that you journal by hand and not type.
Tip #2: Draw or write about your money memories
The power of practicing journalling is training to keeping us in the present moment but we can use our self-awareness to journal about the past too. There are a number of studies that have shown that journalling about memories can have huge health benefits. Try writing about your favourite money memory, your first money memory, one that you are proud of and consider the experience using all five of your senses.
Tip #3: Make it a ritual
Set aside a regular time each day or week for journalling about money. Maybe you can take 10 minutes before your weekly yoga class to jot down your thoughts or take some time at the beginning or end of the day to write what you have been observing.
If you are finding it hard to keep going them here are some prompts to help you maintain the momentum in your money journal:
>Describe your purse using all of your five senses
>Write about how you felt when you paid your last bill?