Inflation-Proof Your Mind
Inflation can be as dangerous to your mind as it is to your wallet.
Despite everything we read, inflation isn’t just about purchasing power. It can affect your sense of personal power. And this can hinder your ability to respond to stress.
Seeing prices rise so quickly is jarring. It can be frightening to feel that you can no longer afford the usual grocery items, utility bills, and the price of gas. As costs rise, you need to make trade offs more often. And that can erode your sense of autonomy.
This accumulated stress and loss of control can lead to a downward spiral into hopelessness. That’s why it’s important to recognize when you’re beginning to feel stressed, and intentionally boost your sense of personal power. You can even do this proactively.
Below are three exercises I’ve used whenever I’ve needed to remind myself of my agency.
- Keeping a Power Journal
Do you even know how powerful you are? Once you start keeping a list, you will be amazed! Every time your actions change a situation for the better, you are exercising your power. Nothing is too small to add to your list. Making someone smile. Remembering to take deep breaths when feeling stressed. Clearing one cluttered surface that’s been bothering you (I’m looking at the corner of my table now…) These all count. Tracking your power moves, no matter how small, can help you feel resourceful and confident.
Meditation is the quickest path back to neutral when stress erupts. And you don’t necessarily need to spend 30 minutes on a cushion. Thirty seconds of deep breathing while stopped at a red light can make a difference.
- Focused Imagery
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I like to close my eyes and imagine myself on a catamaran soaring across the blue sea. I imagine that my talents, skills, and passion are each represented by a strong cord, and these cords are woven together to form a sturdy net. This is the net I lay on as I sail across the ocean. Whenever I conjure this image, I feel supported. Spend a few minutes developing your own image. First, close your eyes and let the feeling of security, support or strength fill your body. Then let that feeling emerge as an image in your mind. You can return to this image, breathing in its strength and support, any time you need a boost.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of ongoing world events that can make you feel weary or helpless (not to mention any stressors in your personal world).
Spending time strengthening your personal power will fortify you during uncertain times like these. It can give you the confidence and resourcefulness to handle what comes your way.
Of course, only you know what level of support you need right now. You may need far more than a couple of exercise suggestions. If you’re struggling to cope, then I encourage to get professional support. If you have no idea where to start, contact me and I’ll do my best to help you find it.
Emily Shull is a behavioral money coach and founder of Me Myself and Money.
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