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How financial struggle erodes mental decision-making processes

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2018 | Bankruptcy |

It’s not hard to understand the relationship between financial struggle and poor decision making. But consider the possibility that due to the economic conflict, your rational decision-making abilities are hindered going forward. The psychological burden of money problems often makes planning and organizing your life highly challenging to accomplish. As a result, an unhealthy cycle of depression and inability to solve money problems usually develops.

It’s similar to the physical feeling of being unable to breathe. Your decision-making lung capacity is restricted by the big money worries you carry with you. Scientific research has recently backed up the dynamic between struggling financially and impeded mental processing.

Limited bandwidth slows decision-making ability

Bandwidth is something people hear about when it comes to internet speed and it also relates to mental processing. To understand bandwidth, imagine a large and small pipe. The bigger the pipe (bandwidth), the easier it is for water (information) to pass through. The smaller the bandwidth, the harder it is for a flood of information to pass through, appearing to go slowly. The same holds true when it comes to life and finances.

When you feel overwhelmed and powerless with your finances and meeting your monthly obligations, you are being flooded with so much reality data that makes it very difficult to process and seek out solutions mentally. Financial stress can quickly make your prefrontal cortex (decision-making part of the brain) freeze up and shut-down.

How to reduce the stress and change the pattern

Just like money worries can be compared to not being able to breathe physically, so is the importance of natural deep breathing on your ability to think clearly. It is simultaneously essential to incorporate a practice of awareness of your stress and pausing to breathe deep. This will physically reduce the stress response you are feeling and allow much-needed oxygen into the systems of the brain.

Mindfulness takes you out of the regrets of the past and the concerns of the future and into the present moment. Practicing being present will keep your stress hormones at bay while you breathe and open-up your mental bandwidth to process the information you are facing.

Often, innovative solutions and new options emerge when the mind is calm and able to think correctly. This is an essential step in stopping the cycle of reaction and making your life react to you and your ability to think, plan, organize and make a wise strategy.