Money is everywhere. We take it as a fact of life, and constantly try to find ways to make it work best for us. It's strange, then, that we rarely talk about how money makes us feel, and how our emotional relationship with money changes how we use it.
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It doesn't have to be that way, though, as CNBC's Jill Cornfield shows in an interview with financial therapist Brad Klontz. That is, in fact, an occupation — and one that can help us ask important questions about why we act the way we do with money. For instance, consider what kinds of messages you've internalized about money itself. Is it shameful or embarrassing to want it? Do you think money is a corrupting force or worth sacrificing for? Does being rich compromise who you are as a person?
Without knowing it, assumptions like these can increase whatever stress you already feel about money, which is sure to be a lot. If you can't find a financial therapist per se to help you untangle these feelings, bringing up your money issues with a "regular" mental health professional is totally within the bounds.
All kinds of research shows that one of the best ways to create healthy coping strategies is to feel what you're feeling, rather than run away from it. If your brain is telling you to put on the brakes for a minute, listen to that instinct. You can always course-correct, no matter how messy the mistake. See the rest of Klontz's tips for more ideas how.