In these stressful times, physical, emotional, mental, and financial wellness has become more critical than ever. Wellness icon Deepak Chopra has been focused on helping others with their health on all levels for decades. However, with recent events, Chopra has become more actively involved in other programs to provide further assistance.
This involvement includes partnering with Personal Capital on its Financial Heroes campaign earlier this year to promote financial empowerment. He is also spearheading a global mental health initiative called Love In Action, and NeverAlone with his Chopra Foundation, and he recently released his 91st book, entitled, “Total Meditation.”
As an advocate for financial wellness, Chopra believes the holiday season is a time where it is easy to become unbalanced in this area. He notes, “During this stressful time, it’s important to focus on financial well-being. That’s what people want more than money itself: they want to feel secure and healthy.”
In helping spread the gift of financial wellness, Chopra offers these five tips:
1. Refocus Your Money Mindset
He admonishes people to believe that their net worth does not define their self-worth. “If money becomes an addiction, then you’re going to be unhappy. Being a billionaire or winning the lottery is not going to make you happy, but having money is going to make you a lot more comfortable. Therefore, money is an important aspect of your life.”
Instead, the better approach to take involves proactively understanding your financial situation. In doing so, you will be able to be more mindful and confident about how you use your money.
2. Use Money for What Brings You Joy
Chopra believes that money is a useful tool. However, money itself is not the sole source of joy or happiness. He explains, “Fulfillment occurs when you have meaning and purpose in your life, and furthermore when you use your money for joy, for pleasure, for experiences that you’ve never had before, for helping others, and for creating for yourself financial confidence.”
Helping others has always been known to provide a sense of happiness and fulfillment. Therefore, supporting others is a great use of wealth. There are numerous charitable organizations that you can donate to as well as local families in need that could benefit from a financial gift. As Chopra states, “The fastest way to be happy is to make someone else happy.”
3. Resist Unmindful Spending
It is easy to buy into the idea that more material things bring more happiness. Deepak immigrated to the U.S. in 1970 as a newlywed with $20. While working as a low-paid medical intern, he was convinced that he should borrow money to buy a television and car.
He recalls that he spent money that he had not earned to buy things he did not want or need. When he thought about why he was spending money he did not yet have, Chopra admitted that it was to impress others who he did not actually care about.
According to Chopra, “this is the kind of stress-mind that leads to disaster. That happiness, at the most, lasts for a few days. Then you want a new iPhone, you want a new automobile, you want a new TV.” Resisting the urge to spend with no real purpose in mind can help maintain financial wellness instead of leaving you unsatisfied and sick with debt.
4. Have Honest Conversations About Finances
Most people have probably received advice about money that has influenced their relationship with finances in some way. These conversations should continue because It is important to keep the dialogue going about money with those who are close to us.
Being vocal about money is a good way to de-stigmatize money topics, which, in turn, can reduce financial stress. Often, people are ashamed to discuss money because they have made some poor choices. However, bringing it up and discussing it can help solve those issues and create a better way forward. Also, these discussions can direct the pathway and results will be more positive for our financial futures. They can even lead to money coming in for the rest of our lives.
Chopra explains how these conversations about money with his mother shaped how he thought and directed the actions he has taken. “My mother told me, ‘As soon as you start earning money, you should start saving money.’ She also told me that you should save as if it were a bill you had to pay every month. So every month, you put 10% of your earnings into savings as if it were a bill you have to pay. She told me to be thrifty and not spend more than you earn.”
Being open to talking about money can also be beneficial for your children, helping them to cultivate a healthy money mindset early on and giving them much-needed confidence to talk about finances now and into the future with their own families. Chopra used this strategy with his own children.
“When my kids were growing up, I taught them one principle: Never think about money as your primary goal. Think of many things: life purpose, No. 1; your unique skills and talents, No. 2; education, No. 3. And, always focus on how you can express your unique skills and talents, who is going to benefit, how are you going to make the right livelihood and have enough self-esteem and self-worth and abundance consciousness, and money will come to you.”
5. Take Control of Your Financial Situation
Chopra states that there are many ways to turn a financial situation around and gain greater control. Feeling in control of your money allows you to shift your focus toward what Deepak calls “abundance consciousness.” People tend to focus on scarcity, no matter how much money they have. In contrast, an abundance consciousness means becoming aware of the existence of plenty and connecting with it in your own life.
The first option is to use the wealth of available free tools designed to help organize your finances and plan for the future. “People are searching for resources to help them learn about finances and have a financial plan. There are many online tools that help people achieve this goal. Once you have the basics under control with an efficient process, then you can focus on abundance consciousness.”
From there, knowing your financial values, setting a plan, and seeing it through can dramatically impact your financial wellbeing in a positive way during the holidays and well into the future. Plus, it can also establish good habits for your children as they develop greater confidence about how to use their money.