People usually associate money with security. Let’s face the truth, everyone has a fear of going bankrupt. Anyway, financial anxiety is a common thing for many people. But is it okay to live with such obsessive thoughts? How can a person overcome financial anxiety? This article will give answers to these and other pivotal questions.
Why Do People Suffer From Financial Anxiety?
What will I face in the future? What should I do now to prevent a lack of money?
Such questions can make people depressed and lost. If you also have obsessive thoughts about your finances, take a deep breath. Luckily, there is an alternative to traditional banking establishments and people can get a $50 loan instant no credit check easily.
So what causes financial stress? The answer is quite obvious. All people have basic needs that include food, medical help, and shelter. Life is unexpected. Although we desperately try to get prepared for possible challenges, we cannot predict the future. One day you may lose a job or face unexpected medical expenses. The Covid 19 pandemic and recent wars have even increased the level of financial stress people have.
Money is the root of all evil, or so they say. But regardless of whether you believe that money is the source of all evil or not, there's no denying that it can be a major source of stress in our lives. According to a recent study conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the vast majority of Americans (85%) say that money is a major source of stress in their lives. This is significantly higher than the percentage of people who cite other sources of stress, such as work (55%), health (51%), and relationships (47%).
So what exactly is it about money that causes so much stress? For many people, it's the never-ending cycle of bills and debt. It can be difficult to keep up with monthly expenses, and when unexpected costs arise, it can feel like you're constantly one step behind. Other people may feel stressed about their future financial security, especially in uncertain economic times. Whatever the cause, it's clear that money is a major source of stress for Americans. And until we figure out a way to get our financial houses in order, it's likely to stay that way.
What Does Financial Anxiety Look Like?
Despite being so widely spread financial anxiety doesn’t disturb everyone. At the same time, some people may not even understand why they are feeling so uncomfortable.
Firstly, financial anxiety may come if a person is not satisfied with his or her current standard of living. Secondly, this feeling is common for those who earn enough money but can’t manage them efficiently. Such people usually buy things on a whim but can’t afford expensive items.
Dealing with financial anxiety is essential for feeling safe and secure. Otherwise, you can’t stop thinking about your future, fear retirement, and wasting your time.
In the United States, financial therapy has already appeared - it is a combination of psychotherapy and financial counseling, but it has not yet been explored. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and short-term solution-focused therapy are likely to be helpful. At the very least, there is already scientific evidence that they help reduce general anxiety. If you are going to work through your problem with a specialist, I recommend choosing those who work with these particular techniques.
How to Overcome Financial Anxiety?
Even if you live with this feeling for a long period of time it isn`t okay. It can lead to health problems and even existential crises. You may be depressed, and stressed and avoid people. All these things prevent you from enjoying your life. The good news for you is that this problem is not new. Psychologists tend to investigate the causes, symptoms of financial stress, and ways of dealing with it. Below you will find some pivotal tips that will help you keep afloat.
Step 1: Analyze Your Feelings
Try to look at financial anxiety as a part of your life. How much does it affect other aspects of your life: well-being, relationships with loved ones, and work. It may be done in different forms. You can talk to yourself or someone you trust, draw a diagram, graph, or map, where different aspects of your life can be represented as states bordering each other, or make up a summary of the biography or history of one's anxiety. To make things work answer the following questions:
- When did the feeling that you lack money appear in your memory for the first time?
- Did this feeling change with the flow of time?
- How was the situation with money in your family and environment?
- What is the reason for the tense financial situation in your childhood?
- Are these circumstances relevant now?
Step 2: Track When And How Anxiety Appears
The purpose of this step is to learn to take control over the feelings and perceive anxiety as an understandable reaction to certain events. To handle it you will need a notepad and a pen or an app where you can make notes. Try to answer these questions in writing:
- In what situations does financial anxiety arise?
- Do any other emotions come with it?
- What thoughts express anxiety?
- What do you do or avoid when you experience anxiety?
- In what situations does anxiety decrease?
- What to do to increase your income?
These questions cannot be fully answered at once. It is worth returning to them periodically. Sometimes it takes effort to acquire the habit of writing self-observation.
Step 3: Find Negative Attitudes
Negative attitudes are usually formed in childhood. We inherit the rules of behavior from parents or the environment or develop them ourselves to adapt to the conditions of life. To define your negative attitudes review the notes you made during the previous steps. You can ask yourself the question: “What if?”. Here are a couple of examples:
“If I spend money on a whim, I will soon go bankrupt”;
“If I don’t constantly monitor the state of my accounts, I won’t notice that there is no money left.”
Step 4: Experiment with Your Fears
Now we need to check how realistic you are. There is a wide scope for creativity here. For example, you can not check the status of accounts for a week, and then make sure that everything is in order without your constant monitoring.
You write that it is difficult for you to take a decision to go to a restaurant or make some other optional expenses. Allocate an amount that you can safely spend on yourself weekly or monthly. Consider it as an investment in your psychological well-being and try to go to a restaurant after all. It will be good to define some rules for yourself like:
- “I can spend a certain amount per month on spontaneous desires”;
- "I shouldn't check my accounts more than once a week."
Financial anxiety is a common feeling for many people. If you find yourself stressing because of money, just accept it. But the best way to handle it is to work out a plan on how you can improve your financial situation. It will reduce your anxiety level considerably. Maybe you're ready to learn a new skill or just talk to your boss about a pay raise? The options are multiple. Just be ready to take action!