We’ve all been there. The credit card bill arrives and even before you open it, your heart beats a little faster, and your palms start to sweat.
When you do finally rip it open and see the balance, that panicky feeling in the pit of your stomach washes over your entire body, and the stress headache sets in. It’s no surprise our financial security and our health are connected. According to the American Psychological Association, money is the top stressor in the US. But what many people don’t realize is how many of the choices we make in regards to our health set us up for that frightening monthly reveal. Poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and especially stress can–when added to a current financial crisis–create a vicious circle of endless doctor visits, higher medical costs, and mounting debt.
“We don’t like to talk about stress, and we don’t like to admit we’re under it,” said Atlanta based wealth builder and real estate investor, Sonia Booker. “There’s a real crisis in terms of both health and wealth that we need to overcome. We’re way too stressed out, and we have way too much debt. We have to improve that. That starts with changing our mind-set to be aware of how our financial decisions impact our health, and making healthier choices overall.”
THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS TO HEALTHY LIVING
As a nationally recognized coach and consultant, Sonia helps people see the big picture with regards to their finances, as well as their overall health and happiness. She travels all over the world, inspiring audiences to build wealth and to leave a lasting legacy. “When you have more information, make better decisions, and are more in control of your finances, you’re better able to handle everything in your life, including your health,” she remarked. Part of that control, according to Sonia, means living a healthier life in order to free up the costs that accompany poor health choices. And those little changes can pay off bigger than you think!
SMALL STEPS CAN MAKE A HUGE IMPACT
As part of her approach to empowering audiences, Sonia encourages them to start building wealth one dollar, one decision at a time. For instance, when she went back to the office after the birth of her son, she brown-bagged her lunch to maximize her time in the office. The surprise benefits? She ate healthier and lost weight. Plus, by not eating out she was able to save $4,000 in one year, which she used to jump-start her son’s college account. “Even if we never funded it again, it would add up to a decent little nest egg over the years.”
Mind-set Is Key. Changing your mind-set today offers some nice kickbacks now and down the road. Sonia used the example of how saving just $5 a day, whether that’s making your latte at home or skipping the gas station breakfast on the go, not only nets you $1,800 in savings a year, it also improves your overall health. “When you’re in health and wealth building mode, changing your mind-set may mean altering your social life,” Sonia noted. For instance, encouraging your fellow shopaholics to join you on a hike instead of your usual weekend trips to the mall burns calories instead of your paycheck. Cutting back on all those happy hours with friends may lower your health insurance costs, and according to Bankrate.com, reduces your spending by at least $1,500 a year.
TAKING A BREATHER CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Early in her career, Sonia quickly learned that you have to take a step back to take care of yourself. “I saw co-workers work themselves to the bone to generate wealth, but they weren’t taking care of their health and their professional and personal lives suffered,” she explained. “As your temple, your body is the first line of defense against the stress of the world around us, and you have to protect it.”
Even in the midst of her packed work and travel schedule, Sonia sneaks in time to walk her dog and join her son on bike rides. She attends meditation classes and gets regular massages for relaxation and other health benefits that they provide. When your mind is calm and your body is strong, it leads to fewer doctor visits, fewer missed days of work due to illness, and fewer dollars spent on things like medications, alcohol, or stress shopping to deal with pressure and anxiety–which all add up to big savings in your family’s budget. Who knew a little relaxation could be so profitable?
INFORMATION BUILDS CONFIDENCE AND LOWERS STRESS
As part of her work, Sonia founded The Inner Circle of Women Wealth Builders, a supportive community to help women learn how to invest and make sound financial decisions. She quickly realized that although 95% of women make all purchasing decisions, many were not armed with the financial knowledge they needed, and in turn their stress levels and physical health suffered. With women at a significant risk for cardiovascular disease and other stress-induced conditions, a lack of information and time to address concerns set them up for the perfect storm. “Many people won’t go to a financial advisor because they’re stressed by what they don’t know. It’s similar to a doctor’s visit–you know something is wrong, but you don’t want to know what it is. It turns into this vicious cycle as they live paycheck to paycheck or fall deeper into debt. But when you finally have that knowledge and information in place, you can create a plan and stick with it. That confidence kicks in, and the stress starts to fade away.” “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out people who are committed to seeing you succeed,” she added. “You should always ask every question you can.”
Overall, Sonia says living a healthier, more financially secure, and more fulfilling life comes from discovering your true purpose. “What I share with my audiences when I’m speaking is that we all have our own gifts and talents. When we put them to use, that’s where we find our truest wealth in terms of finances and our health. Purposeful living is really the highest form of living.”
To learn more about Sonia Booker and her wealth building services/movement, visit www.soniabooker.com.