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We’ve all experienced it. Stress and anxiety surrounding our finances are more common than we might care to admit. Sometimes this angst stems from not being able to make ends meet, or when we overshoot our budget; even when we are not able to pay our bills on time, it overwhelms us. And sometimes, it is simply our current state of affairs that leaves us in a cold sweat. Whatever be the reason, one thing is clear – if it bothers us, it requires a closer inspection.
Addressing financial anxiety is vital to our mental health. Money worries can cause anything from mild stress to feeling completely hopeless.
For anyone going through a particularly hard time, it is important to understand that you’re not alone in feeling this way. Almost all of us at some point have gone through phases of fear and uncertainty when it comes to money. So, to begin with, rid yourself of any shame and guilt, and get ready to face your fears and take control of your finances.
Here are some tips on how you can address this worry
1. Start with yourself
Make yourself a priority. Take care of yourself. Relax, meditate, exercise; do what makes you feel at ease and peace. Without a clear mind, you won’t be able to address your concerns. And we need you to handle this with a clear and peaceful mind.
2. Sit back and Evaluate
Now that you’re at ease, evaluate the reason for your anxiety. Most of the time we find that the reason for our worry runs far deeper than just a financial situation. Allow yourself the space to find out the patterns that cause you anxiety. Understanding your habits will allow you a better insight into what requires a change of plans.
3. Make a Plan
Regardless of how you view your current situation, you must understand that it can be changed. The vision you have for your future can turn into a reality. You simply have to plan. Plan the little details. Self-care, mindful spending, making provisions for saving, and so on. Start small and soon you’ll find it gets easier to take those bigger steps too.
4. Stay away from comparisons
You are unique and incomparable. And when you compare yourselves to others you let go of what makes you special. Making comparisons leaves us feeling miserable and most of our worries circle the feeling of low self-esteem. No good ever comes of it. Hence, it is important you value and accept yourself for the wonderful human you are. With this self-belief, no stress and worry will ever make you feel less about yourself.
5. Ask for Help
Seeking assistance isn’t a sign of weakness. It shows your conviction to change your situation. It is an act of courage to reach out for help. If you feel unsure or overcome with emotion, speak to a friend, a mentor or even a financial advisor. You’d be surprised at just how simple yet impactful this one step can be.
6. Take time to learn
While there is no dearth of help and guidance available, there is nothing quite like the confidence of understanding yourself. Take some time out to find out more about the areas you have trouble with. If you feel you struggle with budgeting, read more about how you could work on that. If you find you get stressed over the bigger expenses, find out how other people deal with it or how you could break down these expenses into smaller sizes. If taxes scare you, learn about small investments that can help you save on taxes. Once you are on this journey, you will realise that while there will be moments of uncertainty, your fears and anxiety can be overcome.
7. Be and Stay Positive
No matter what your current situation, remember it won’t last forever. Think of it as a temporary phase; one that you will come out of stronger. If you find it hard to see the positives, please reach out to others – friends, family, mentors. An outside perspective will help you see through the mire and focus on the important things. A positive outlook will also ensure peace of mind.
A little patience, a little practice and some help will go a long way in your fight with financial anxiety.
But you must seek help when you’re unable to handle things on your own. There should never be any shame in going through financial stress. We all face challenges and we overcome it with help and support. And truth be told, we can’t always be 100% in control of our finances. But we can make sure that we stay focused and clear when we need to deal with unfavourable situations.