Overcoming financial stress is not easy. This is a challenging time. Some people have lost their job. Others are afraid they will lose the job they have. Some entrepreneurs have been losing money for months. Most people do not have much left in savings. People are concerned about being able to pay their bills. It is difficult for many to make their mortgage or rent payment. Even paying utility bills can be a worry. Some are wondering what expenses to cut.
How do you handle your finances in the chaos we are in? There is so much uncertainty. It is easy to feel anxious about money. Will you have enough money for retirement?
Professionals and entrepreneurs are all challenged. I was concerned when the stock market was down 30%. Business has changed for many.
But there are things you can do now to reduce worry and find your peace. Here are 3 things you can do now.
1: Overcoming Financial Stress by Using Gratitude
According to Madhuleena Chowdhury, author of “The Neuroscience of Gratitude and How if Affects Anxiety and Grief”:
“Gratitude aids in stress regulation
McCraty and colleagues (1998), in one of their studies on gratitude and appreciation, found that participants who felt grateful showed a marked reduction in the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. They had better cardiac functioning and were more resilient to emotional setbacks and negative experiences.
Significant studies over the years have established the fact that by practicing gratitude we can handle stress better than others. By merely acknowledging and appreciating the little things in life, we can rewire the brain to deal with the present circumstances with more awareness and broader perception.”
Gratitude is a powerful way to reduce stress. You can shift your attention any time you want. Instead of worrying about the future, you can put your concentration on what you are thankful for.
You can choose gratitude any time of day. I use it morning, afternoon and evening. Being thankful can reduce anxiety and increase your life satisfaction. It is free and can become easy with practice.
ACTION STEP: Ask yourself “What am I grateful for?” Come up with 3 or 4 things. Really feel it. If you come up with something in the present moment, it is more powerful. I am grateful right now for feeling healthy.
You can shift your life by being grateful. You do it anytime you want. If you express gratitude to someone else, you can make 2 people happy.
#2: Overcoming Financial Stress by Coming into the Present Moment
People can be financially stressed by worrying about what will happen in the future. They are putting themselves into a future moment and coming from lack.
By coming into the present moment, you can reduce your stress level. You can come into the now. You check in where your life is. The only moment we have is this moment in time. This is a reality check.
When you are in the moment, your thinking can be clear. You can be aware of what is going on. Presence helps get you out of your mind and head. You can connect with your life.
ACTION STEP: Use your sense perceptions to come into the present moment. Use your vision. What can you see now that is to be afraid of? Use your hearing. What can you hear that is to worry about? Use your feeling. What can you feel in the environment that is to fear now? What is there to be afraid of in this moment. Be honest. Right now.
If you ask what is there to fear now, the answer is always nothing. Not in this moment.
You may need to take action now. Like move. You may need to accept something. You may need to be still. But in this moment, there is nothing to be afraid of.
The Key: When you are grateful in the present moment, you can relieve stress and feel some peace.
The more you can stay present, the less stress you will have. When you are present, you can think clearly. You can do what needs to be done. You can’t think straight if you are stressed out. A person can’t choose if they are anxious. When you are in the moment, you can do what needs to be done. Sometimes, that is doing nothing. You may need to accept what is.
Sense perceptions are always available to you as an access to presence. You can use them when you go for a walk. You will enjoy your walk more if you are there on the walk, not in your head.
#3: Overcoming Financial Stress using Meditation
You can reduce your anxiety by meditating. Mayo Clinic wrote an article “Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress”:
“Meditation and emotional well-being
When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience and tolerance”
So, you can reduce your stress by using a form of meditation. This helps you come into the present moment. Meditation is putting your attention on something. You can put your attention on a bird. Watch the bird. Listen to the bird. You can put your attention on doing the dishes. You focus on what you are doing. Get out of your thoughts and mind and keep your attention on the present moment.
ACTION STEP: Put your attention on your breathing. As you breathe in, notice you are breathing in. As you breathe out, notice you are breathing out. Come out of your mind and your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Maybe you notice your chest moving. Maybe you can feel air coming into or out of your nose. However you are breathing is fine. Just put your attention on your breath.
There are many other ways to meditate. You can do a walking meditation. Noticing the trees. You can be grateful for the trees. You can pay attention to each step as you walk. And walking is a great stress reliever. Find what fits best for you.
Overcoming financial stress is possible by using gratitude, presence and meditation.
To Your Happiness,
Tucson’s Anxiety and Depression Breakthrough Specialist
Founder and CEO of Peace for You