Anchor Your Day ~ a mental health blog by Counselwise ~

Money and Emotions; Post 5

In our wrap up post about money and emotions, today we explore the money script (Klontz & Klontz) of Money Vigilance. Those who ascribe to this script put a lot of emphasis on saving money and tend to have their financial affairs in order. The money vigilant are less likely to buy on credit and are discrete about their financial status with others.

“The Money Vigilant are alert, watchful, and concerned about their financial health. While Money Vigilance encourages saving and frugality, it can also lead to excessive wariness or anxiety that can prevent one from enjoying the benefits and sense of security that money can provide.”

Although the money vigilant tend not to sabotage their own financial status, sometimes their fears and subsequent miserly habits can affect the relationship they have with their loved ones.  It can also prevent them from enjoying the fruits of their labour.  Klontz suggests that they create a “fun-money budget” that will allow them to recognize that creating space in your life to enjoy a well earned vacation or a ‘toy,’ can emphasize feeling joyful. Checking in with a trusted advisor on a regular basis will also help with tempering the fears associated with money vigilance.

After reading about money scripts, I can definitely see that my Dad ascribed to money vigilance. I also see some of the same tendencies in myself; especially when it comes to my feelings around debt (that will keep me up at night!) Thankfully, I also learned that when we can afford some luxuries – that includes travel for me – then we should spend without guilt or fear as it is much deserved.

This concludes our series about money and emotions. Information for this post was found at “Your Mental Wealth” and if you wish to discover your own money script, at the bottom of the article, you will find a link:

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Money and Emotions; Post 4

So far in our series about money scripts (Klontz & Klontz), we have explored Money Avoidance and Money Worship; today we look at Money Status. 

We have all heard of the expression “keeping up with the Jones’s” – this is where  Money Status comes to light, as people who ascribe to this money script often associate their self-worth to their net worth. Pulled to show off their wealth to others and wanting to impress, can sometimes lead these individuals into going into debt to keep up appearances.

“Money status seekers may prioritize outward displays of wealth, and as a result can be at risk of overspending. They may believe that if they live a virtuous life, the universe will take care of their financial needs. Those that score higher in the area of Money Status are more likely to overspend, gamble excessively, be financially dependent on others, and hide expenditures from their spouses.”

It is important to note that although some money status seekers are quite financially successful, it can also come at a cost of workaholism as they are driven to secure their social status and will make that a priority over family time.

When we recognize that we may have fallen into the Money Status seeker category, we can begin to challenge some of those core beliefs by recognizing that although our net worth can contribute to our self-identity, it doesn’t have to take up too much space. Focusing on your financial situation with a spouse or financial advisor on a regular basis can keep you on track, as well as slowing down your decision to purchase something by exploring just what is driving that decision.

Tomorrow we will explore the last money script, Money Vigilance.

Information for this post came from Klontz’s website, Your Mental Wealth

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Money and Emotions; Post 3

Moving right along in our exploration of money scripts (Klontz & Klontz), today we take a look at Money Worship.

Money Worship is the belief that having more money will be the answer to your troubles and will make you happy. People who ascribe to this script also believe that you can never have enough money and tend to never quite be satisfied with the amount that they have.

“Money Worshipers are prone to buying things in an attempt to achieve happiness. They are also more likely to put work ahead of family and give or loan money to others even though they can’t afford to do so.”

In a study conducted by Klontz et al, it was discovered that despite the societal belief that more money equals happiness, there is no significant correlation between money and happiness once household incomes are above $75 000 per year and that increases in income have been found to also increase distrust and depression.

We are much better served to see that money really doesn’t buy happiness. In order to temper this money script, Klontz suggests that we can avoid buyer’s remorse by putting some thought into the purchase versus simply following the impulse to shop; this brings in the rational process needed to help with the emotional drive to spend money.

Because money worshipers can have the tendency to work a lot, a slow down and spending time with family and loved ones will help to remind ourselves that we need to attach our money to values or it loses its lustre. Klontz also notes that another way to temper money worship is to give with intention. When we are able to give budgeted money to charitable organizations that we take an interest in, we can reinforce the value of money without chasing it.

Tomorrow’s post will look at Money Status.

Information for this post was found in the following article found at Your Mental Wealth (love the clever name!):

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Money and Emotions; Post 2

Yesterday we began a series on money and emotions; introducing the notion of money scripts (Klontz & Klontz). Typically developed in childhood, money scripts are unconscious beliefs about money that tend to be generational, cultural and contain only partial truths. Today we will explore the money belief pattern known as Money Avoidance.

Money Avoidance is based on a negative belief about money.  Money avoiders tend to pay less attention to their financial situation, will often experience the feelings of anxiety and shame tied to money, and tend to not have a good sense of control over their finances. In a study by Klontz et al, money avoiders were found to have lower or unknown levels of  income, and may self-sabotage so as to have as little in their control as possible.

“Essentially, money avoiders have negative associations to money; they may try to not think about money, ignore financial statements, overspend, enable others financially, and have difficulty managing a budget.”

An interesting note: it was discovered in the study that younger people are often money avoiders, but that this can change with time as they begin to understand and gain control over their financial situation.

The first step in moving out of a being a money avoider is to simply recognize that you may ascribe to such beliefs and avoidance behaviours. Exploring where the money script developed may also be beneficial in gaining a greater understanding of how it affects you.

Understanding that money is a tool that can be used for success is also important; as is being curious as to how money can be good. Getting financial advice, creating a budget and setting aside time in your calendar to pay bills will also help in keeping you on track.

Information for this post was found at Your Mental Wealth (Klontz’s website):

Tomorrow we will explore the money script known as Money Worship.

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Money and Emotions; Post 1

My father taught us a lot about money. He was a saver and saw the value of living debt free. In fact, I have a very vivid memory of my parents ceremoniously burning their mortgage papers in the fireplace once they had successfully paid off their mortgage. For a good chunk of my childhood, our mom stayed home, making our dad the sole breadwinner and therefore the decision maker of money.

It was only when I was older did I realize that much of my father’s decisions surrounding money were actually driven by fear. He had grown up very poor, with an alcoholic father. It would seem that he learned very early on that having money in the bank was imperative to safety. I suppose that served him well in many ways, and yet we all knew that the decisions he made were the final word, not much wiggle room when it came to other variables that might play a factor in the overall decision where money was concerned.

We have many assumptions about money and we see examples everyday of how money influences how people treat us. And although it should be fairly simple math when it comes to managing money, it often isn’t. And that is because money is also about emotions.

In this upcoming series about money and emotions, we will begin to look at the money scripts that often come to us from childhood. Developed by Dr. Bradley Klontz and Dr. Ted Klontz, the concept of a money script is a generational passing down of beliefs about money; typically unconscious that develops in childhood. There are four money scripts that we will explore as a way to better understand our relationship with money.

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A Poem to Renew Our Spirit

I have to admit that the blues surrounding this pandemic and all that it encompasses begins to flutter around me. I recharge, lean into self-care, I connect. Reading this poem this morning by J.R.R. Tolkien helped to remind me that this too, shall pass:

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Cooped Up Adolescent

My very good friend and colleague published an article entitled “Relationship, Room and Rest for the Cooped-Up Adolescent.” Written by Darlene Denis-Friske and her son Jacksen Friske, and featured through the Neufeld Institute, it gives us a bird’s eye view into what many teenagers are facing during this pandemic:

“Adolescents are absorbing intense stress during an already heightened time of developmental turbulence. For many, being cut off from school, friendships, and regular activities will fester worry about the “what ifs” that are further fuelled by negative social media exposure.”

As parents, we may be carrying the weight of trying to keep our families on track, both emotionally and financially, yet we must also consider the effect of being socially isolated is having on our children. When the build up comes bubbling out (and it most certainly will!), Darlene reminds us about the importance of resisting our own rising emotions in that moment, and leaning into their process:

“It helps to know that, in the bigger picture, this manner of expression is important and serves a purpose. We need to give it some
R-O-O-M. This is “coping in action.” This is “alarm in motion.” We do not want these emotions to get stuck inside of our adolescent with no outlet for release. What is happening in their world is terribly alarming and not easy to talk about. We are going to see them “behave how they feel” at times.”

Coping in action; what a lovely way to describe what often happens to our children when they are trying to sort out their feelings. Our reaction can help them along in processing their own journey of emotions; in letting the calm settle back in.

This article is well worth your time, with words that transcend and resonate:

Thanks for letting me share, Darlene 🙂

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Photo credit: http://Photo by Isaac Holmgren on Unsplash

Does Venting Anger Work?

There was a time in psychology, where the idea was that if we vented our anger, it would be cathartic. Punching pillows while screaming, couples being guided in therapy to hitting each other with foam noodles , a ‘timed’ argument where you could angrily vent everything that made you cross about the person in front of you. It was believed that anger needed to be expressed, and doing so would create a cathartic release. Does this actually work?

Anger is an emotion that elicits a physiological response; it releases hormones that will elevate our blood pressure and cause constriction in our digestive tract, causing arousal – in short, we are primed for a fight.  Anger is also a very common and frequently felt response – think about how many times in a day we may feel frustrated or irritated at something or someone.

Dr. Carol Travis, a social psychologist, and author of the book “Anger, the Misunderstood Emotion,” has this to say about venting anger – “The venting out of anger doesn’t reduce it, it rehearses it. People who are most prone to give vent to their rage get angrier, not less angry.”

When we are venting anger, we are automatically eliciting an angry response in the other person; this will lead to an escalation of anger, not a release. We are much better served to keep our anger in check; to recognize when it is rising and to take a time out in order to process it. Taking a few deep breaths and asking ourselves how we best want to deal with this situation will do more for processing the anger than attempting to vent it.

A blog post about things to remember about anger:

A blog post about working to change our anger:

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Self-Control and the Concept of Delayed Gratification

When something appealing is presented to us, do we tend to jump right in with both feet, or do we weigh the options so as to determine best outcome? The Stanford Marshmallow experiment was a (late 1960’s) study in which children were placed in a room with a marshmallow and told that if they could wait for a short while before eating it, they will get an extra snack as a reward.

Watching this 4 minute YouTube video is a replication of the same experiment:

It is very interesting to see which children will patiently wait, cute to see how many will lick it or nibble it, and how many will go ahead and eat it.

Essentially, this experiment was about self-control and our ability to wait for something versus a need to be instantly gratified. Self-control is really about being able to regulate our emotions, thoughts and behaviours. If we have a good sense of self-regulation, we tend to be able to not only use our rational brain to weigh in on our decisions, we also have faith that waiting will bring a just reward.

It would seem then, that being conscientious of the bigger picture is something we can lean into when the “treat” is right in front of us. 🙂

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The Importance of Commitment In Relationship

In our quest to build healthy relationships, we require commitment – from both parties. Regardless of the relationship we are committing to -partner, friend, loved ones – the essentials are the same:

  • Our thoughts about commitment align. Gary Zukav says that when we commit to a relationship, we put ourselves in another person’s keeping. We have trusted them to have our best interests at heart, and promise, in return, to do the same.
  • Our actions follow our words. Commitment is the underlying belief that “I can count on you.” The choices that we make when it comes to committing time and effort into our relationship come through in what we do.
  • We maximize the good. There are always going to be times in relationship when we feel frustrated, disappointed or annoyed. When our sense of commitment is based on trust, we turn towards maximizing what is positive about the relationship and minimizing the negative. John Gottman refers to this process with couples as actively being grateful for the good qualities in our partner versus building resentment towards our partner for their negative qualities.
  • Commitment requires depth. When we commit to a relationship, we also work towards the results of that relationship and are invested in its success.

Commitment to our relationships is both an individual promise and a shared one. The act of commitment is foundational for a healthy and meaningful relationship.

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