Anxiety is a feeling all human beings experience from time to time. When it comes to the source of that anxiety, your finances is at the top of the list. No matter what gender, social class, or age you are, the majority of individuals have or will experience some form of financial stress. It can be one of the most suffocating feelings in the world to stress and worry about money. Money is the thing that helps us live, but living your life from payday to payday can not only take a toll on your mental health, but your physical health as well. Below we have outlined the steps to take to gain some relief and cope with financial stress.
Identify the Problem
Anytime there is a problem, finding a solution or working to find a solution will allow you to gain peace of mind. Progress, in any form, is a positive feeling that can overpower or suppress the feeling of anxiety. Before you can work towards a solution, you must know the problem or problems. Specific to your finances, you need to find your source. What is causing your financial stress? Is it a mortgage you can’t afford, friends with spending habits you can’t keep up with, or credit card debt that is out of control? There may be multiple different habits or expenses that cause your financial stress, but outlining them and acknowledging they are the source tied to your anxiety is the first step to overcoming that anxiety.
Make a Plan
Physically write it out. Take pen to paper and list all the problems that cause financial stress and then start listing ways to overcome each of them. If your mortgage is one of the sources of stress, for example, list ways to eliminate that stress. You can try to refinance, downsize, or get a second job to be able to bring in the amount of income you need to afford your home. Simplification is key. Here are the problems and here are the solutions. Remember progress is the tactic to suppressing anxiety. Making a plan and getting organized about how to solve your financial weaknesses will aid in lowering your stress level.
The best way to ensure you take action on your outlined plan, is to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself. Start chipping away at the mountain blocking financial freedom. Goals need to directly reflect the possible solutions to the problems you have already outlined. Think of tackling your financial stressors as small battle victories that will eventually win the war. Make your goals build on one another. If you meet your daily goals consistently, then you will meet your weekly goal. If you meet your weekly goals every week, then you will meet your monthly goal. They all add up to an overall victory.
Overcoming any problem in your life that causes anxiety will not always be easy. It takes discipline and perseverance. You need a constant reminder of why you are putting so much effort into getting rid of this source of stress. Try thinking of a time when you were not financially stressed and how you felt in general during that time. Remind yourself of how good it felt to have financial freedom. Getting a close friend or relative to help you be accountable will also help tremendously. Just having a weekly conversation with that individual about the progress you’ve made will help with motivation to keep powering on.