How our relationship with money affects our emotional well-being.
Childhood experiences often shape our worldview and can leave deep emotional scars impacting our adult life. It can feel like a heavy weight is preventing us from moving forward. That weight is known as emotional baggage, and if by now you’re thinking and asking yourself about your luggage, the answer is yes, we all carry some!
But What Exactly is Emotional Baggage?
It refers to unresolved emotional issues that affect present behavior and relationships — unresolved traumas. According to this research, the load can make you feel stuck, restrain you from setting goals, and make it almost impossible to develop healthy habits and behaviors.
Sources of emotional baggage can vary and depend on an individual’s experiences and circumstances. Some familiar sources of emotional baggage include childhood trauma, past relationships, family conflict, societal pressures, health issues, cultural norms and values, and loss or grief.
Money can also be a source of emotional baggage, triggering many negative emotions and holding you back from reaching your financial goals. Some of those feelings include:
Whether it’s the stress of not having enough money, not being able to save, or having to use your savings, financial stress can be overwhelming and impact one’s overall well-being.
The fear of financial instability can manifest in various ways, such as anxiety, depression, anger, low self-esteem, and relationship problems. This fear can make it challenging to make healthy and informed financial decisions, leading to a cycle of negative emotions and behaviors around money.
It can stem from overspending, not saving enough, or making financial decisions that don’t align with personal values. Many often struggle with the survival guilt that comes from succeeding and making their way out of financial hardship.
Money and shame often go hand in hand and can be a common form of emotional baggage. It can stem from various sources, such as growing up in a family that struggled financially or feeling embarrassed about being unable to afford certain things.
Fear of judgment, guilt, or shame about spending patterns can lead to hiding financial information or activities, such as hiding debt, secret spending, or lying about income from a partner or loved one. This financial infidelity can ruin relationships.
Anger and money can be interconnected, especially when one feels that their financial needs or expectations are unmet. It can manifest as frustration, irritability, or even rage, leading to strained relationships and poor financial decision-making.
How Do You Unpack Your Baggage?
Addressing emotional baggage with money can be challenging, but it’s essential to reaching financial well-being. Here are some tips to help you unpack your emotional baggage:
- Acknowledge your feelings: Be honest about your emotions and their impact on your life.
- Identify the source: Once you’ve acknowledged your feelings, try to identify the source and tackle the root.
- Practice self-care: Financial wellness is self-care!
- Educate yourself and set goals: Identify specific goals you want to achieve and work towards them.
Remember, overcoming emotional baggage takes time and effort, but it’s possible. Be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time.