Wealth Tips Aren’t Always About Money
Do you regularly feel worried and stressed? Does depression visit more than you’d like to admit?
Do you envy those around you and think they have more than you do?
There’s a free solution to this modern day malaise. According to Andrew Weil, MD, author of SpontaneousHappiness, certain of modern life create disharmony and depression. Weil posits that we weren’t designed for a modern, sedentary, internet surfing, TV watching, processed food eating life. And this contemporary lifestyle causes higher levels of depression in industrialized nations. According to Weil, the hard working Amish, who live a life of simplicity experience more contentment than their “modern” neighbors.
Here are a few factors Dr. Weil believes contribute to modern day depression:
- Lack of human contact
- Excess processed food
- Excessive distraction and stimuli
More Time in Nature Leads to Greater Wealth
Could your solution for wealth be found outside? Weil isn’t the first to posit the healthful results of time spent in nature. And isn’t feeling healthy and well, analogous to feeling wealthy?
Apparently, our disconnect from nature and physical labor, coupled with the processed modern diet is creating a spiritual and mental void. Not yet a “clinical” diagnosis, nature deficiency makes sense on an intuitive level. This condition struck me on a deep personal level. Not because I’m depressed, but because I spend a lot of time online and yet relish time in nature. A recent, a service project of apple picking for the hungry and a nature hike with my family reminded me of the joy of family and nature.
Find out; Do You Really Need a Rolex?
Research finds and personal experience confirms that wealth in life goes way beyond money. A recent article admonished consumers for being consumed with financial excess and materialism at unaware of true worth. This got me thinking, what is the actual worth of my time with family or the plants I bought for our garden? Family time has no monetary price, yet time together bestows ultimate riches. In contrast, the joy that I’ll receive from a beautiful garden is also difficult to quantify.
Do not get me wrong, you need enough money to provide for basic needs and occasional splurges. But do not underestimate the importance of the following “contentment basics.” Free and readily available, incorporate these mood boosters into your life and become wealthier.
How to Create True Wealth and Live Richly Without a Big Bank Account
1. Be mindful in act and deed. Pay full attention to the task at hand. Enjoy the Zen of living. Mindfulness is a trendy way of stating, live in the now. When you’re doing the laundry, focus on the task at hand, not on your cousins new diamond ring. This simple behavior, of being present, calms the anxious mind.
2. Keep your circadian rhythms in sync by getting sleep at night in a dark room and some bright sunlight during the day. We’re built to thrive in these conditions without which our mood and energy level suffers. If there’s not much light where you live, consider an artificial light. Sleep deficiency contributes to over-eating and negative thinking.
3. Strive for balance. Take the time to enjoy nature. Moderate your phone and internet use. Working over-time doesn’t lead to more success or happiness. In fact, you’ll become less productive if you’re working too much! A recent WSJ.com article by Morten T. Hansen entitled, “The Key to Success? Doing Less” details how working additional hours, beyond a certain point is not helpful or healthful.
“The common practice we found among the highest-ranked performers in our study wasn’t at all what we expected. It wasn’t a better ability to organize or delegate. Instead, top performers mastered selectivity. Whenever they could, they carefully selected which priorities, tasks, meetings, customers, ideas or steps to undertake and which to let go. They then applied intense, targeted effort on those few priorities in order to excel.” ~WSJ.com
Bonus; Get Wealthy by Giving
4. Get off your butt and be active. Play with the kids, go for a walk, do some housework, go bowling or karaoke with friends. Think of early tribal cultures. Weil espouses that depression was not in their experience. A key depression treatment in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to take action. It’s remarkable how going on a hike or playing a round of mini putt slashes the blues.
Round up all of the hikers on the mountain and ask yourself, are those with bigger bank accounts more fulfilled? Are they feeling happier or experiencing more joy on the hike?
Redefine wealth to include; health, satisfaction and joy.
5. Give to others; it’s remarkable how helping someone out improves your well being. Think small, not big, even a smile or holding the door for someone can make you feel connected. The perfect antidote to feeling poor and sorry for yourself-serve others. Visit a homeless shelter, help out at your church or synagogue. Find your cause and contribute your time. You’ll be too busy to feel “poor”. Understand that FIRE – financial independence, retire early isn’t the secret to happiness.
Try a bit more natural living and a bit less synthetic. Build your wealth in life and appreciate the free gifts at your disposal. Redirect your mind from “poor me” to “look at the great gifts I already have”.
Tips for a Wealthy Life Takeaway
- Make a commitment to spend time in nature this weekend.
- Allow relaxation and fun to be a part of every week.
- Stop measuring your worth by your bank account.
- Keep a journal to record the wealth you already have. (It’s not all about the money!)