When it comes to money management, stress comes with the territory, and it’s no welcome visitor. Stress is a surprisingly destructive phenomenon for both mental and physical health. It can cause an inordinate amount of problems ranging from depression and fatigue to ulcers and acne.
Unfortunately, there is no cure-all medication for stress, but there are things you can do to help it. Any doctor will prescribe a long period of rest and relaxation for the recovery of stress, but if it’s not possible for you to drop everything for a couple of weeks, take the proper steps to deal with it.
- Acknowledge Stress
Before you let stress take over your life and your health, acknowledge that your stress over finances is becoming a problem. It may seem easier to ignore the physical and mental repercussions of stress than to get help, but you can only get by on that mentality for so long. Acknowledging the stress is the first step to recovering.
- Identify the Stressors
You can’t fix a problem until you know the specific source. Discover which aspects of your financial situation are causing you stress. These stressors could include rising debt, poor budgeting, too many accounts, high interest rates, etc.
- Focus on the Biggest Stressor
Once you’ve made a list of your major stressors, focus on taking down the biggest one first. Trying to manage each of your stressors at once will only overwhelm you and create more stress. Make a plan to climb out of just one pitfall at a time, and you’ll learn to use your money more effectively.
- Recognize Your Stress Relievers
Think about what behaviors you default to when you’re stressed. Relieving stress in a negative way, such as chain smoking, gambling, drinking, comfort eating, etc., doesn’t solve the problem. It only creates new stress on your body from unhealthy habits. If you indulge in any of these unhealthy habits as a way to relieve stress, make some changes.
- Take a Break
One of the healthiest ways you can relieve stress is to take a break. Take a day off, go on vacation, get a massage, go for a walk, join a yoga class, play fetch with your dog, take the kids out for ice cream, etc. It’ll be just what the doctor ordered.
- Seek Out a Professional
Perhaps your biggest cause of stress is simply that you need financial help. If you’re struggling with personal finances, it may be beneficial to talk your problems out with a friend or family member who is particularly money savvy. You can also get financial help through credit counseling services and financial experts who will help you take control of your current financial position.
- Live and Learn
Though it’s a hard lesson to endure, making financial mistakes is perhaps the best teacher for dealing with finances. Remember that when you’re stressing over poor choices in finances. Instead of reflecting on how difficult that decision has made your life, focus on what you’ve learned and how it will help you improve your money management techniques in the future.