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Coping with less

We are nearly all having to make do with less money in the current economic climate. For some this has meant limited lifestyle adjustment, while for others the combination of job loss and large personal debt, for example, has caused real hardship, or even poverty, with day to day challenges in managing on a much tighter budget.

At such times we can easily fall victim to a cocktail of negative emotions and fears for the future. However, if we allow ourselves to succumb to negative thought patterns, it can become a self fulfilling downward spiral.We will lose energy and our world becomes ‘smaller’ at precisely the time that we need to think creatively.

In times of adversity we need to remember more than ever that the meaning we attach to events is ultimately a choice we make. Looking for the positives/opportunities in difficult situations is not a form of self delusion, but is a necessary step to create some forward momentum.  For example, we can choose to be happier with a simpler lifestyle where there is less pressure to compete socially.

Yes, it is true that the best things in life are free and that less can be more – we do not need all the material trappings and trinkets in order to be happy (rather they can be a distraction from what is really important). In saying this I do not wish to trivialize the very real challenges some are experiencing and the unavoidable tough decisions, which can involve radical lifestyle changes, such as up rooting families and emigration etc.

Even though we can be happy (or even happier) with less it is still important to have an abundance mentality if we are to attract what we need. In order to achieve this it helps to define resources not just in financial terms – include as well your health, experience, skills, interests, friends, family and contacts. You can do this by counting your blessings (another word for resources). This has a calming effect, stops you from falling into victim mode, in addition to being a tool for identifying ways to improve your situation.

You may well be financially constrained at the moment but with the right mindset (just a thought away) you can identify the next steps that you need to take to change the situation for the better. Necessity can be  the mother of your inventions !


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