Financial stress is one of the most common stressors these days. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, “almost half of American’s say that they are increasingly stressed about their ability to provide for their family’s basic needs.”
Stress over finances is often considered the number one cause of stress. Some deal with it constantly, and others only deal with it on rare occasions, such as after an unexpected medical event or during a divorce.
How do you get through the tough times?
If you are facing big-time money issues, or are panicked about the economy, seek outside advice. Find someone in your area who will be able to sit down with you and make sure you are informed and making the right decisions.
Seeking the help of a financial professional will not only help you get on track, it will give you more peace of mind and help you in managing financial stress. Do some checking around. Find out if there are any free resources in your community or look for professionals who offer an affordable payment plan.
One easy way to help deal with this type of stress is to take action. Come up with a plan for managing your particular money issues and then follow through with that plan. Procrastination in dealing with your financial troubles will only increase your stress.
Many times, simply sitting down and figuring out how you will get through the tough times will relieve some of the stress immediately. However, if you don't follow through on your plan, you're setting yourself up for failure and possibly more stress and guilt. So following through is just as important as coming up with a plan.
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Financial stress is still just stress. It needs to be effectively managed in the same way you handle any other type of stress. Managing your stress properly will not only make you feel better, but it will help you handle tough situations with a clear head. Managing any issue with an overly emotional state of mind will not be of much benefit.
Journaling is a great activity for this type of stress. Write down your goals, financial and otherwise. Write down ideas of how you and each member of your family may be able to help the situation. Be creative! If you find that you need to cut back on spending, write down some ideas for fun activities that won't cut into your budget.
You may also want to ask your friends what they have done to cut back. And if you are someone who tends to spend more than you should, ask someone to help hold you accountable. Many people are dealing with tight budgets or even big financial issues. So get some ideas from others on how to creatively save money. Just be careful about who you ask and who you take advice from!
Remember, the key to dealing with financial stress is to be pro-active with your situation, and find ways to manage stress in general so that you are able to approach the situation with a level head.