Chances are your financial situation won’t kill you. However, your financial stress can kill you. As such, it is important to manage it effectively.
Here are 5 tips to help you cope with your financial stress.
1. Know you are not alone
Stress in America
American Psychological Association
2. Take a time-out
3. Avoid catastrophic thinking
“I have credit card debt. I’m a failure. At everything.”
“I lost my job. I’m going to be poor. Forever.”
When our finances feel out of control it’s easy to slip into catastrophic thinking, where we ruminate irrationally about what is likely to happen and who we are. These exaggerated thoughts create stressful emotions. To minimize the negative impact of irrational worries you need to keep things in perspective. This is where the next tip can come in helpful.
4. Think about the worst-case scenario
If I just suggested you avoiding catastrophic thinking, why would I now encourage you to think about the worst-case scenario? While your financial situation is most likely not life-threatening your financial stress can be. This exercise helps you face your fears straight on. Taking a hard look at the worst-case scenario has the paradoxical impact of lowering your anxiety. It’s a form of exposure therapy and can help you keep things in perspective.
Take some time to think it through. For example, if you lost your job, what would