Although uncomfortable, anxiety can motivate constructive action. And by taking that action, we lessen our anxiety while improving our situation. Fueled with Love, Respect, Curiosity, Compassion and Gratitude, here are a few proactive strategies for reducing your money stress:
1: Take responsibility. When you make a less than optimal financial choice, embrace it with Love and Respect, knowing you did the best you could with the Wisdom you had at that time. Be Curious about what led to your decision and why you might choose differently in the future. Demonstrate Compassion by completely detaching from any sense of fear and self-loathing. Responsibility moves you forward. Fear and shame hold you back. Be Grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow.
2: Take action. Assess your situation with Respect and Curiosity, taking any corrective action still possible to mitigate the damage, such as negotiating with creditors or seeking other sources of income. Be Grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow.
3: Find pleasures you can afford. When reducing expenses, don’t cut to the bone. A forced sense of deprivation will make it even harder to stick to your more responsible spending plan. Eliminating all forms of joy can reintroduce scarcity, and anxiety, in response to which many fall right back into the arms of “shopping therapy” which puts you right back onto the money madness hamster wheel. Be Creative in finding affordable joys with which to permeate your Life. Be Grateful for all of your current non-financial assets and leverage them to get the greatest possible return on all of the Abundance already in your possession. A fabulous singing voice, close friends, beloved animal companions, good books, great music, a walk in the park, a drive by the sea.
4: Increase your money wisdom. Be Curious and eager to learn. Seek support and education in coaching, Debtors Anonymous and books on smart financial management.
5: Be patient with yourself. It takes time to get used to diminished circumstances. Accept your feelings with Love, Respect and Compassion and reassure yourself that Life will get easier as you continue to learn and grow over time.
6: Cultivate Gratitude and circulation. When fear and a sense of lack arise, stop and name five things you are Grateful for and find something you can share with others. It may be just one dollar for a homeless person. Or it may not involve money at all. It may be a smile for everyone you meet. Taking time to notice and compliment a helpful sales clerk or a well-behaved child. Appreciate and celebrate all of the good in your Life. Beginning and ending each day by naming at least five things for which you are Grateful is a powerful Gratitude Practice that fosters a sense of Abundance, despite your external circumstances.
7: Hydrate. Warm baths and hot tubs can soothe the nervous system. Water fosters flow. Drink it, bathe in it, go for a swim, even cry. Water helps flush toxins from your system.
8: Work it out. Exercise, yoga and meditation all help reduce stress and increase clarity.
9: Spend time with people who are supportive. Confiding in people who encourage and soothe, rather than fostering doom and gloom, can go a long way to decreasing your anxiety. A peaceful friend, a Professional Life Coach.
10: Get medical help, if needed. If your anxiety is debilitating and interfering with your ability to function day-to-day, see your doctor.