Financial Stress: The Piggy Bank is Half Full!

Wall Street Street Sign
Photo by matze ott via Flickr

Are you staying up at night worrying about your investments, about whether you will lose your job or how you are going to pay your bills? Are you feeling depressed, anxious or getting headaches?  Do you find yourself overeating, unmotivated or withdrawing from others?

If this sounds like you, you are not alone.  Many people are feeling the extra stress caused by the current state of the economy.  And people are trying many different approaches to get rid of that stress. While completely eliminating stress may not be possible these days, it can be managed.

Why is it important to control stress?
Managing stress is important because being stressed for long periods of time takes a toll on almost every system in the human body.  It can can cause anxiety, depression, insomnia, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, increase blood pressure and heart rate and cause digestive problems, among other things.

How can I manage stress?
Here are a few suggestions to help you manage the financial stress you are feeling:

  1. Keep a positive outlook: Even though there are many negative stories about the state of the economy, there are also some positive ones.  Try not to focus on the negative stories and don’t panic when you hear something negative occurring.  It is not all doom and gloom. The stock market is starting to make its way back up a little and some analysts believe we might come out of the worst of this in the near future.
  2. Take a break from the news: If the news makes you overly stressed, then it might be time to take a few weeks off from watching, listening, reading or talking about the news.  That goes double for checking your investments daily.
  3. Make a plan: If money is tight, write a budget: Figure out how you and your family are going to allocate your money to cover your expenses.  Then put the budget into action.  Committing to your new budget will decrease your stress, because you are taking control of your financial situation and one of the most stressful things in life is feeling out of control.
  4. Be aware of unhealthy activities: During these tough economic times, many people turn to unhealthy activities to help them cope, like smoking, drinking, gambling or overeating.  If you find yourself doing that, stop.  These unhealthy activities can actually make you spend more money and can lead to family strain and more stress.  If you are unable to stop these unhealthy habits, make sure to seek professional help before it gets worse.
  5. Learn to relax: Find something positive that relaxes you and makes you happy.  That could be reading a good book, listening to music, meditating or going for a walk.  Find outlets to relieve your stress.

The bottom line
In these tough economic times, it is important to manage your stress because long term exposure to stress will take a toll on your health.  Luckily, some people think the economy might be making a slight turn in the right direction.  Right now, you need to hang in there and be positive and proactive while finding ways to cope with financial stressors.  Remember, being healthy is the most important thing because without good health, nothing else matters!

Comments (3)

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  1. Maria Isabel says:

    You have very good ideas on how to reduce stress. Thanks

  2. Rosy says:

    Amen, Talli! I stop watching the news, take walks and even watch a funny or inspiring movie. Not going to lie, stress does take a toll, but I try to quickly snap myself out of it. Life is just too short to be wasting energy on stress.

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