Imbalance comes when we overindulge in any habits that may result in self sabotaging behaviours. When this pattern becomes deeply ingrained, it can lead to addiction.
When I think of addiction, what immediately comes to mind is an alcoholic, or drug addict who is dysfunctional in his life. But addiction is far more subtle than this, it take shape as some form of overindulgence. While relatively few of us inject heroin, many of us overeat, over-drink, overthink, overspend, making choices that provide momentary pleasure, but do not feed our soul.
Addiction is the most widespread problem in our society today. Most of us feel disconnected, unfulfilled and do not know how to handle these deep inner feelings that trigger our need to distract ourselves from the inner turmoil, and may turn to substances or habits that temporarily relieve pain, reduce our anxiety, as a way to cope with our pain.
One of the more subtle and socially acceptable addictions is overspending, or using shopping to distract us from our mental or emotional problems.
Good financial decisions are an important aspect of overall health. Overextending ourselves in finances, or emotional spending is a form of addiction that can subtly lure us into its trap.
Then comes the stress of overdue bills that further adds to our imbalance. Relationship strain within couples often is due to incompatible spending habits, or financial strain. We can contribute to this relationship stressor when we use shopping to anesthetize our uncomfortable emotions.
If you use shopping to provide temporary emotional relief from your problems, I encourage you to really look at the issues behind it, and learn new ways to manage your emotions. An aspect of self care recovery is taking ownership of our thoughts, feelings and actions. We can manage our behavior in healthier ways.
Here are 3 practical suggestions for how to start shifting possible patterns of denial and avoidance when it comes to dealing with self indulging tendencies:
- One of the best ways to manage the stress caused by emotional spending is to know your core values, and keep them in the forefront of your decision making process.
- Know your life purpose – keep reminding yourself of your vision for your life, and keep that vision in mind during your decision making process. Ask yourself, “Is this decision taking me towards my vision or moving me further away from it?“
- Set goals that are in alignment with your values and life vision – what are you really fighting for?
If you are noticing a pattern in your life of coping with emotions through overspending, now is a good time to reset your behavior. If you are unsure how to do this, ask for help.
Look at what is really going on, deal with the underlying core issues through connection with your emotions.
If you need assistance with working through this painful emotional process, you may want to consider approaching your problem from the bigger picture, the energetic aspect. Working with a shaman is an approach to self care that puts you in charge to clear a full range of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual influences that affect your overall well being.
Deanna Strandquist, Wind Haven Shaman is a modern day shaman who uses the ancient wisdom in practical ways in modern day living. When we can slow down, live simply, and stay in balance, we have the opportunity to live an authentic, fulfilling life.