Financial planning has a new zen approach

If you ask some experts, financial planning isn’t just a numbers game but a way of life. 

Driving the news: As economic times get tough, a wave of financial experts are leaning into mindfulness (yep, you read that right) to help manage their money. They say that calming down your nervous system or making time for reflection can help you foster better financial decisions — or, at the very least, help you keep your cool if the markets fall… and if they keep falling. 

  • Erika Polsinelli, founder of the meditation app Evolve, says techniques like meditations or breath control help people become less reactive and impulsive regarding money. 

  • Michael Preto, a portfolio manager overseeing $205 million in assets, says that slowing down enables a deeper reflection of money decisions, especially during turbulent times.

  • Wendy Brookhouse, CEO of Black Star Wealth, says she drives mindfulness with her clients through introspective, therapy-like questions meant to unravel ‘money attitudes.’

Why it matters: Ok, so there’s no shortage of articles titled “How to bring mindfulness into your money practice,” but between high-quality resources offered by mindfulness start-ups to money coaches, you can actually learn to promote a deeper understanding of your money habits, which not only promote better financial decisions but foster a less stressful relationship with money.

Here are some tools to try out: 

  • Meditations: Mindfulness start-ups like Headspace offer mindful spending modules (for a cost) covering everything from talking about money to coping with feelings it stirs up.

  • Breathwork: There’s (of course) a lot of nonsense that comes up when you google “breathwork for money,” but best-sellers like Breath and Exhale can help you get started.
  • Money journalling: When your pen hits the paper, you can better reflect on the financial decisions you’ve made up until this point and map what you’d do differently in the future.