If you’ve ever suffered from overspending shame – the moment that buzzy feeling you get from purchasing the shiny thing vanishes, and you’re left with a nagging voice that you really shouldn’t have spent that money – you’ll know it takes all the joy out of your day. Here, Leo Babauta shares his advice for overcoming the impulse to buy stuff you really don’t need
A lot of these urges are created in us by external pressures such as advertising. But you don’t have to listen to the messages from the media or act on the impulses when they arise in your body.
The next time you feel the urge to buy something you can’t afford, observe the quickening of your heart beat and notice the excitement in your tummy.
Then, gently calm these feelings by re-focusing your thoughts on the present moment. Turn your attention to what’s in front of you right now, and realise how many amazing things you’ve already got.
Say in your mind’s eye, ‘I’m grateful for what I have, for the life I’m living. I find joy and contentedness in what I already have’.
Turn your attention to the people close to you in your life, and feel thankful for their very existence. Be grateful for the opportunity to live life, for the pleasure you can find in every moment, and for the peace that’s inside of you right now. These are the things that can bring you lasting joy, not future purchases that relieve a momentary impulse.
This moment is all we need, and it is an opportunity for monumentous gratitude. When your life is already so magical, why would you need another shiny thing?
About the author
This feature has been adapted from an article originally featured on Leo Barbauta’s amazing blog Zen Habits