As the holidays approach it’s hard not to be bombarded with overly jolly messages of giving thanks. And trust me I’ve always been an advocate for finding gratitude in every situation life hands you, but I’m willing to admit that there are situations when it feels near impossible to turn on the holly-jolly.
As the holidays approach it’s hard not to be bombarded with overly jolly messages of giving thanks. And trust me I’ve always been an advocate for finding gratitude in every situation life hands you, but I’m willing to admit that there are situations when it feels near impossible to turn on the holly-jolly. Emotions like heartache, dissatisfaction and grief can be overwhelmingly large walls blocking out the light that would allow you to see the path to gratefulness.
For most Millennials, money is an emotionally charged subject that holds us back from feeling positive and free. Dissatisfaction with entry-level salaries, stress from the mountain of student debt and resentment for having to turn down dinner offers from friends, all create a depressing story line that never seems to change.
But here’s the thing, we are all in control of our own stories. You’re the author who decides how you feel, and how you feel effects what you do, and that outcome reveals a new feeling for you to take action on, and so the cycle keeps evolving.
When you’re in the throws of a difficult situation it’s imperative that you break the bad feeling cycle in order for the condition to improve. Of course this isn’t easy to do, but if you follow these three simple steps you will be given the tools you need to start tearing down the emotional blockages to let the light back in.
Pause and greet the situation.
When a negative event aggravates your money story it’s natural to want to moan, complain, get angry and lash out. When these emotions bubble up, freeze and acknowledge them with respect and curiosity, like you would a stranger. Then talk aloud about what’s going on in order to prevent yourself from getting swept down the emotional river.
I thought I had enough money to make it this month, but my eye doctor visit was way more than I thought it would be. This is stressing me out because now I don’t think I can go out to dinner with my friend.
Surrender in order to make room for what can be.
Surrendering is not a weakness. Rather it’s the brave thing to do when you realize your resources are low and you know you can’t win the battle, but that doesn’t mean that the war is over. Acceptance allows you to let go of the pain from the past, freeing up your mind to think creatively and productively about your next move.
I recognize I can’t afford to go out for dinner, but I don’t want to miss my friend because of that. Maybe she would be up to coming over and cooking with me. We could even choose a recipe together out of that cookbook I rarely get to use.
Use your tools and start excavating the light.
Now that you’ve stopped yourself from floating down the emotion river, and accepted your situation, you’re in a better frame of mind to write the next scene of your story. When you choose an action that gets you closer to happiness, or even just hopefulness, gratitude is easier to see.
I’m excited that my friend is coming over; it will be much easier to talk to her in a quiet and more intimate place.