Financial stress is something that affects almost everyone at one point or another and can range from something very minor that kind of floats around in the back of your head, all the way through to a full blown anxiety.
One of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle in his book A New Earth talks about stress and how our bodies deal with stress.
“Although the body is really intelligent it can not tell the difference between an actual situation and a thought. It reacts to every thought as if it was a reality it doesn’t know it is just a thought. to the body a worrisome, fearful thought means I am in danger, and it responds accordingly, even when you are lying in a warm and comfortable bed at night. The heart beats faster, muscles contract, breathing becomes more rapid, there is a build up of energy but since the danger is only a mental fiction the energy has no outlet, part of it is fed to the mind and generates even more anxious thought. The rest of the energy turns toxic and interferes with the harmonious functioning of the body”
Financial Stress can be pretty overwhelming at times and can be caused by all sorts of things.
Some common causes of financial stress.
- Job loss or downsizing
- Approaching Retirement and not sure how you’ll replace your income
- You’re in retirement and not sure if your money will last
I have a couple of thoughts here on how we can look at stress and some things we can do to work towards eliminating it.
What is the root cause of the stress?
The first thing we want to do is to set aside some time, so we can reflect on the situation and try to figure out what the cause of stress actually is.
Brainstorm some possible solutions. (Ideas. Get it all out on paper so you can see it.)
- Create a budget to come up with some possible areas where you could save some money.
- Inventory your assets and financial resources.
- Visit or call you HR department to get details about your retirement(Pension, Healthcare,etc.)
- Write out some goals to work towards
Many times we tend to over amplify some of these stresses in our heads. The actual situation may not actually be as bad as you may think.
The important thing to do here is to take some action immediately. Even if it’s just writing down a few things, you will likely feel better, because you are taking some action.