Have you come across the term “mindfulness” recently in conversation or in casual reading? I know I have. It seems to be growing in popularity and I’m good with it as a word that describes a positive and realistic attitude towards life. It’s a term that can hold significant meaning for anyone facing debt problems and others who simply want to get out of debt as soon as possible.
Mindfulness promotes the idea that one’s personal attitude and presence of mind are the keys to the kingdom of happiness in life. To be mindful is to live in the present moment. It means staying alert to your thoughts - and to the emotions that surface from those thoughts - so you can take command of them. You can welcome positive thoughts that make you feel good, and let go of negative thoughts that make you feel bad. The more you allow your positive thoughts and feelings to grow, the better life gets, according to the mindfulness principle. To me there’s a loud ring of truth here.
Based on Credit Canada Debt Solutions’ experience of providing credit counselling to many thousands of people, there’s no question that attitude and mindful practices are vital to the process of overcoming debt problems. In most cases, people with serious debt problems have to face not only bad financial practices - like the failure to create a monthly budget or to end poor spending habits - they also must deal with the personal state of mind that created all the financial trouble to begin with. Negative attitudes towards money must be addressed or the bad money practices will never go away. Through changes in attitude there is real hope for lasting progress. It’s a reminder that my agency’s credit counselling services involve so much more than just crunching numbers and applying financial formulas.
Yes, there are many strictly rational, practical procedures behind our Debt Management Programs, which help people through methods of debt consolidation, affordable monthly payments, and even interest rate relief. But these methods in the long run amount to little without thoughtful, non-judgemental counselling that essentially promotes mindfulness for a positive change of attitude among troubled clients. Psychological insight and emotional intelligence are vital to overcoming crippling debt and to preventing its recurrence in people’s lives. So our counselling has as much to do with helping others deal with the way they “think” and “feel” about money as it has to do with budgeting processes etcetera. Countless studies show that positive thoughts and feelings open doors to achievement and agreeable outcomes.
If you don’t think right, you don’t feel right. If you don’t feel right, you don’t act right. Fortunately, the vicious circle can be broken once and for all through mindful practices. What’s great to see are people who have overcome financial hardship to become more mindful of themselves and their attitude towards money. The changes bring constructive self-awareness and a powerful sense of being emotionally liberated. Here are a few testimonials from Credit Canada clients that illustrate my point.
“My financial situation was a total mess. I was scared. I couldn’t sleep. I created more debt while I was in debt. I was just going under. Making a phone call to Credit Canada is the best thing I could have done. I received a lot of support and understanding. I got such a release of anxiety and learned to respect myself again. Now I’ve got just two payments left on my debt and it feels wonderful.” - Bernice, Credit Canada Debt Solutions client
“When you suddenly realize you’re in a financial mess, it takes a toll on you. You feel trapped. I got ahold of Credit Canada and as we spoke I just felt good not being made to feel like a loser. They listened to my story. They didn’t say no. They helped guide me.” - Vito, Credit Canada Debt Solutions client
“When my husband passed away, I had been using credit cards quite freely. The debts came to a boiling point and I was desperate.
Then I got in touch with Credit Canada and they made my debt payments fit my budget. Later, I approached a bank to get a mortgage and when they learned I had gone through credit counselling, the mortgage was approved in minutes.” - Elaine, Credit Canada Debt Solutions client
“Working three jobs to put myself through college - then finding work after college - was pretty tough. When someone’s calling you every day demanding money, and you don’t have that money, you feel hopeless. I think the financial education I got through Credit Canada is very important for students and all people who want to be successful in life. - Niki, Credit Canada Debt Solutions client