Stress and The Affluent Mind

Author: Karen Markle, MBA

Stress and The Affluent Mind

An affluent mind is rife with thoughts that continually lead to a path highlighted by “…an abundance of wealth, property, or other material goods…”. Individuals and businesses that operate with this type of mindset enjoy a multitude of benefits such as positivity, grit, joy, laughter, humor, philanthropy, and a willingness to help others that bode well for all those involved from the business or individual themselves to the consumers and clients they work with. 

While most will agree that the accumulation of such items sounds like a surefire path to living and operating life’s best, an affluent mindset has more to do with the types of thoughts one meditates on than anything else. It has the power to help successfully navigate stressful situations even when mistakes are made. After all, our thoughts either help or hurt us as they shape our lives and the world we live in.

Looking more closely at the key traits and benefits of the affluent mindset (positivity, grit, joy, laughter, humor, philanthropy, and a willingness to help others) one can easily observe how each plays a significant role in reducing stress.

Positivity – Embraces a “Can Do Attitude”

Have you ever noticed the ones that experience the most success in life, be it in business or their personal life are individuals that believe whole-heartedly that they can do anything they set their mind to? 

It’s almost as if no matter the challenge, they always seem to come out on top, but why is that? 

The main reason for their consistent wins can be traced back to a constant state of positivity that surrounds the individual or business. 

Positive thoughts or vibes create a state where the mind believes whatever message gets played repeatedly, until the thoughts transform into positive actions. Those actions are usually based on known strategies guaranteed to deliver successful results. Stress is a part of life but maintaining a high degree of positivity will go a long way towards staying on a path that will end in success. 

As is typical in life, exceptional situations may appear from time to time, but one’s odds of failing when following a verifiable plan of success are greatly diminished and often leads to those great outcomes. The same holds true for businesses that repeatedly promote all the wonderful things they can do for their customers. A winning marketing campaign will do wonders for generating additional positivity in and around the business. 

Grit – They Never Give Up

A tenacious person has a ton of grit that powers them through any challenge or ordeal that comes their way. They determine in their minds that no matter what, they are not giving up until they have accomplished their goals. 

Start-up businesses that manage to stay in the game long enough to earn the title of an “established business” embodies a ton of grit, for without it…they would have become another statistic that couldn’t quite beat the odds. 

I’m a firm believer that while everyone and every business has a measure of grit, few ever fully activate it which is why there are so many individuals today struggling to make sense of the ensuing chaos in their lives. Our grit helps us push beyond what we originally think we can handle so that we continue our paths until we reach our intended goal. As stress mounts in our lives, we must dig deeper to pull ourselves up when we get knocked down and to push forward every time we suffer a setback. 

We’ve all encountered individuals that seem to miraculously power through some difficult situations that would take out most people. It’s as if they were given a higher dose of grit than the rest. The truth is more likely those individuals understand if they just hunker down and stand strong in the belief that they can make it through the challenging situation(s) they will find success on the other side. 

In other words, they display a high degree of faith to carry them through. The same holds true for businesses that suffer an attack on their brand/image. In the end, the chaff will always get blown away by the wind leaving behind those with enough grit to endure the difficult seasons.

Joy – Happiness Despite the Rain

It’s easy to be joyful in good times, but what happens to an individual or business when things get tough? 

Human nature tends to lead towards closing one’s self off to the world or a business contemplating laying off some of their employees if business doesn’t turnaround. 

I think we can all agree that it’s understandable to follow either one of those paths, but which path makes the most sense for an individual or business with the affluent mindset? 

Trick question! 

Neither option works because they both usher in an atmosphere of negativity which keeps the rain (whatever the loss is e.g. loss in business, loss of a job, relationship, partnership, etc.) coming until something happens to halt the flow. 

Remember, stress is a part of life which means there will be many times when joy will be free flowing as a direct result of some successful endeavor. An affluent mind understands the power of being joyful even amid difficult seasons because of the powerful effect joy has on the mind and human spirit. 

When a person or business decides to be joyful when it doesn’t make sense, something magical happens. Not only is an overabundance of joy a byproduct the negative thoughts begin to disappear in lightning speed the more joyful one becomes. It’s an instantaneous reward for looking beyond the stress and being joyful for all that has been accomplished up to that point. Perspective is everything, especially when joy is a part of the equation.

Laughter and Humor – Laughs Often Even at One’s Own Mistakes

Laughter is a feel-good medicine that is free to everyone regardless of position, education, or finances. This feel-good medicine is easy to swallow when things are going well. It’s also easy to swallow when it comes at someone else’s expense, but how can humor help when things have gone astray? 

Individuals and businesses deal with stress in various ways, but one of my favorite coping mechanisms is the use of laughter and humor even when it’s self-directed. 

The affluent mind recognizes laughter as a way of relieving unnecessary stress by changing the atmosphere. A bit of levity in the middle of a tense situation can make even the most stoic individual crack a smile even if for a split second.

“I love people who can make me laugh when I don’t even want to smile.” – Unknown 

“The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed.” – Bennett Cerf

Who doesn’t love to laugh? We all do, but sometimes it’s hard to find the humor when we are the direct cause of the stressful event. 

An affluent mind understands the easiest way to navigate difficult situations like this is to quickly find the humor by laughing at one’s self BEFORE anyone else does. Individuals and businesses that are quick to embrace their mistakes show how relatable they are to everyone else. 

“If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you.” – Groucho Marx 

Philanthropy – Willingness to Help Others

There’s something to be said about the willingness to help others, especially when the help is offered unconditionally. 

The affluent mind is often focused on improving the world around them by finding ways to make things better for all involved. 

The “Domino Effect” as defined by Merriam-Webster is “a cumulative effect produced when one event initiates a succession of similar events. 

Helping others not only highlights a generous nature, it also increases the odds of others helping the one who initiates the chain of events. When a person can look beyond themselves and offer help in whatever way they can good things happen!

Challenging situations typically increase the stress levels which can render individuals and businesses helpless if they are not prepared to handle the crisis.  This is ideal for anyone with an affluent mind as they long to give back whenever the opportunity appears. One of the best things about philanthropy is that it’s not just for individuals and companies with deep pockets. Anyone can help and give back if they know where to look. 

Here are some ways to showcase philanthropy as an individual or a business:

  1. 1. Individual Donations: Locks of Love
  2. 2. Help to build homes/shelter: Habitat for Humanity
  3. 3. Support for Youth Programming: Boys & Girls Club of America
  4. 4. Protection of Children: Child Abuse Prevention Center
  5. 5. Volunteer Support Programs: CASA Los Angeles & Hillsides
  6. 6. Corporate Donations: AmazonSmile

An affluent mind offers numerous benefits beyond the accumulation of wealth and material items such as an increase in positivity, grit, joy, laughter and humor, and philanthropy. Each of these benefits can effectively help to reduce stress during challenging situations. When individuals or businesses embrace this type of mindset they will be able to can continue moving forward while helping others succeed along the way!

Author: Karen Markle, MBA