Dollars and Sense

Why We Should Focus Less On Our Finances

I had a real problem with keeping up with dirty dishes- they just multiplied so easily. I’d think “I really need to do dishes” over and over, but thinking about it drove me farther away from the kitchen sink. The pile would get even bigger, making it even more overwhelming. However when I stopped thinking about it and stopped telling myself “you really need to do the dishes,” the tension of the whole situation went away and I actually started being able to keep up with the dirty dish pile.

Years ago, I used to eat ice cream almost every day- it was my nightly routine after long, stressful days at work. I’d think, “I really shouldn’t eat this every day,” but thinking about it so much– “I’ll only eat 1/2 a cup,” “I need to find ways to avoid it,” or “I’ll buy a healthier version even though I don’t like it as much”–made it almost impossible to give up. When I stopped focusing on it I lost the desire for it, and it no longer holds that irresistible allure.

Do you ever find that if you stop focusing on something, or focus on it less, it somehow becomes easier to tackle? Why is this? 

I think it’s because when we place something “under the microscope” and scrutinize it so much- when we analyze it, overanalyze it, think about it all the time, or worry about it all the time- we can start to associate whatever “it” is with stress and unpleasantness.

Sometimes taking a step back and focusing on something else for awhile allows ourselves to warm up to the idea of tackling the first problem.

When we get stuck in a rut thinking about something, constantly telling ourselves (although it may be true) that “I’m not watching my budget close enough,” “I’m really not saving enough,” or “I really need to cut back my spending,” I think it causes our minds to associate our finances with stress; of course we wouldn’t be motivated to tackle whatever financial issue it is that we’re faced with, because no one likes stress!

Consistently releasing the worrisome thoughts and focusing on something else that’s positive allows the stress of facing the situation to dissipate.

I’m curious if switching your focus to something else helps you tackle your initial concern, whether it is finance related or something else. Please share below!

I found an interesting article about the “focus less” idea from Psychology Today here.

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2 thoughts on “Why We Should Focus Less On Our Finances”

  1. SOO unbelievably true! I find that when I’m checking on my finances daily, the numbers NEVER moves, but if I distract myself for a week or two and then go back, all of a sudden there is so much activity and progress. I had a similar experience when trying to get back to a healthy weight after baby #1, and found that a healthy amount of tracking / distance does wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

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