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Americans are stressed and anxious about money lately. Being mindful can help, according to wellness expert Deepak Chopra.
According to a CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey conducted by Momentive, some 52% of American adults are under more financial stress than a year ago. The online survey was conducted March 23-24 with a national sample of 3,953 adults.
“A lot of people are fed up, they’re frustrated, they’re depressed, they’re stressed,” said Chopra, founder of the Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global.
This stress, in turn, can create inflammation in the body and weaken the immune system, he added.
While meditation, comedy, and music can help you decompress, becoming money conscious is a great way to take control of your financial life.
Mindfulness is “a state of active, open attention to the present,” according to Psychology Today. Applying mindfulness to your finances means that you are essentially paying attention to your money and being present with it.
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For Chopra, the most important thing to know about money is quite simple: don’t buy things you don’t need, with money you haven’t earned, to impress people you you do not like. It will create stress in your life, he said.
“Our culture is so used to being in debt,” said Chopra, who recently published her 92nd book, “Abundance: The Inner Path to Wealth.”
Granted, the average indebted household owes $155,622, according to a NerdWallet study. Those with credit card debt owe an average of $6,006, according to the study.
Instead, you should watch what you spend and try to save about 10% of what you earn, Chopra said. It’s something his mother taught him years ago.
“It has served me well all these years,” he said.
“So be a little frugal in these times,” Chopra continued. “Ask yourself, ‘Do I need this?’ or, ‘Do I want this?’
“You know, wants and needs are two different things.”
When it comes to investing, try not to let your emotions take over, he said. The stock market, which had experienced dismal months in January and February, recovered in March. While April is a historically strong month, market watchers expect some volatility this quarter.
“People get nervous and melodramatic and make very irrational decisions,” said Chopra, and a member of the CNBC Invest in You Financial Wellness Council.
“So be patient and don’t make any irrational decisions.”
Also, take care of yourself physically and mentally. If you get a good night’s sleep, have healthy relationships with friends and family, exercise and meditate, the ability to be financially successful improves spontaneously, he said. .
Above all, keep things in perspective.
“If at the end of your life you say, ‘I made a lot of money, but I wasn’t happy,’ what’s the point?” Chopra said.
“Joy should always be the No. 1 priority, then everything else follows,” he added. “It’s called a top-down approach instead of a bottom-up approach.”
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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in tassels.