Ever have the kind of day where you face-plant in your bed at night, feeling totally spent? Maybe you overextended yourself at work, or maybe you spent a lot of time worrying or agonizing over something that upset you. Maybe you had an all-out vent-fest over something that’s been bothering you, or maybe you allowed someone to vent to you for a while. No matter what the instance was, one thing is for sure: you invested emotional energy, and you’ve exhausted your funds.
We are emotional beings, no matter how much or how little, and it’s hard not to let things get to us. Sure, it’s fine to put your emotional energy into something, or get angry about things once in a while – therapeutic, even. It’s great to want to devote your time and energy into helping someone, lending an ear. We all get caught up in bad habits. But remember that every bit of energy you give out is energy you lose, and that the supply is not endless. Paying attention to your emotional spending – especially the negative emotional spending – will do a great deal of help for your mental wallet.
Think about it: you wouldn’t walk down the street and hand money to anyone in your path who asks for it, would you? It’s your hard earned money. Maybe you’ll pop into a few stores and make a purchase, maybe you’ll spare some change for someone in need. But you only have X amount of dollars, and you can’t spend it all or you’ll be broke. You can’t treat your account as if there is no bottom. So why would you treat your emotions that way?
There are several things that go on inside our bodies when we get upset, and you don’t need a scientific degree to understand that these feelings affect us down to our core. Because of this, we have to protect ourselves. If a friend asks you for money that you don’t have, you would simply let them know that you’d love to help them, but you just don’t have the money. Take the same approach with your emotional dollars. If you are around someone who is an emotional vampire, constantly sucking your energy into a negative tailspin, don’t be afraid to put your hand up and tell them your wallet is empty. Devoting too much emotional spending on negative people and thoughts is the quickest way to find yourself broke and homeless. Track your emotional expenses the same way you’d track your bills.
Spend your emotional money on the good stuff: great friends, positive experiences, and bettering yourself. Make “joy” your emotional money tree. Joy is like an investment: the more you allow yourself to feel it, the more you want to spread it, the more you get even more back. You know that expression, “You have to spend money to earn money”? Well, you have to spend joy in order to earn joy. Once you see the worth of this tactic and tap into it, you’ll be unstoppable. Suddenly, you’ll be the Oprah Winfrey of emotional money, shelling out all of your joy to share with the world. “YOU get some joy, YOU get some joy, and YOU get some joy!” It’s inevitable that sometimes we will find ourselves in the red, but for the most part, with this mentality we’ll see our joy profits skyrocket well into the black.
In the end, you can spend your emotional money any way you want to – just remember to pay attention to what you’re buying, and be sure not to deplete your funds. And if you are feeling like you are spending way too much emotional money, maybe it’s time to do some weeding.