Mental Health and Spending
One day, I was sitting in a circle group with people in a class I was taking. It was similar to the Alcohol Anonymous set-up like you see in the movies. We had to introduce ourselves, so I said hello and the group replied, “Hi Louis” and I began saying whatever was on my mind. After I spoke, the person that spoke next became very emotional. To say the least, there were tears. The tears continued person after person until one participant, incredibly dried eyed, change the mood from poignant to being pissed about the horrible up bringing of children. I was thankful for the “fun snatcher” because one more heartstring-tugging story and I would have joined the crying. Before the circle exercise, the people around me looked okay. They had looked okay for two years. After the circle exercise, I was reminded that we all have something going on in our lives, that maybe, we should talk about.
So, let’s talk about maintaining positive mental health. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel,and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, andmake choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood (US Department of Public Health, 2017). During the circle meeting, it was clear thatsome of my classmates were struggling to maintain good mental health. Mental health in context excludes the person that walks in the snow wearing nothing but his or her underwear. I am referring to the common case of low mental health that we all experience brought on by stress, family changes, our jobs, and other life experiences. We face, our children face daily experiences that were nonexistent twenty years ago. “Research shows that 1 in 5 children have a mental health problem and would benefit from receiving help from a professional” (Ottawa, 2012). Over 44 million American adults have a mental health condition (MHA, 2018).
When we are at our mental lows our rational thinking can be impacted. Our behaviors can change. Our “spending habits” can change. The first step to financial control is to develop the mental state that supports financial freedom. We can’t establish the necessary mental state to manage our financial affairs, get our heads