If we could have a virtual show of hands for all of you who have experience financial stress, you’d be able to see that you are not alone. So you’ll just have to trust us when we say you’re definitely not alone in this circumstance. This is the affliction of the masses and in today’s consumer culture more and more people find themselves facing financial insecurity and the stress that goes along with it. Not only the stress of financial difficulty itself but is the beatings you give yourself when you find yourself in that position, fueling further anxiety and stress.
Stress is nothing more than our bodies reaction to a series of events we are experiencing. But tell that to your brain. How we manage that stress and our response to it can go along way towards creating the calm mind necessary to solve the problems that cause the stress initially.
It is absolutely possible to reduce the stress experience when faced with financial problems. For example in the event of a building fire or car crash, there are people who freak out and there are those who stay completely calm. Both are facing the same situation but having different responses. The difference is their perception.
Managing your perceptions begins with understanding what causes money stress. By identifying exactly what the problem is one can effectively find the right solutions. There are fundamental reasons people stress about their finances.
Debt Cutter’s recognised these 3 types of financial stress through working with thousands of clients to clear their debts.
#1 Going under
Living expenses exceed your income and you’re not treading water anymore. You maintain finances with some kind of debt, then you refinance or if you have one you tap into your savings account.
#2 Just getting by
When you’re just surviving financially and treading water, living pay cheque to pay cheque. You can’t get ahead or establish an emergency fund or accumulate savings or build wealth.
Meeting expenses or not, having any amount of debt can be a stressor if it makes you feel trapped or you’re wasting money paying interest.
Techniques to support positive financial thinking
Recognising you are having a stress response to finances is the first step. Some people are prone to walk around unconscious of their feelings and what they are in relation to. Try these techniques to support a mind shift towards positive financial thinking.
- Recognise you have a choice: Stress can accentuate when you feel like things are out of control. Recognising you have a choice in what’s going on in your life financially will help you feel less uncomfortable. Remember that not making a choice is still a choice. If you choose to do nothing and let your financial situation remain out of control then you need to take responsibility for that. You always have the power to change your mind.
- Focus on positives: Like the proverbial pink elephant and you not being able to think of anything else now that I’ve mentioned it, thinking about what’s wrong can train your brain to constantly focus on the problem instead of a solution. Notice on whats going ok in your life, make peace with your financial problems and learn from the challenge.
- Modify your self talk: talking down to yourself isn’t going to help you feel positive about your situation. If you change your internal banter from I can’t increase my earnings or I should cut my spending to I want to increase my earnings and I will cut my spending, will give you a shift in your mental attitude.
- Stay present: How many times have you worked yourself up just by thinking about future scenarios. Worrying about impending catastrophe is not going to help you stress wise. You’ll only give yourself anxiety experiencing sweaty palms and heart palpitations. Remain in the present moment.
- Get financial help: Talk over your financial situation with a trusted friend, family member or financial counsellor. You may be overlooking potential solutions to get you back on track.
- Positive avoidance: Take time out to allow yourself to completely forget you have a financial problem. Play with your kids, go for a run, watch a movie or immerse in your hobby. Do something healthy to take your mind off the stress.
- Eliminate failure thoughts: Financial problems are not a sign of weakness or make you any less of a person deserving a big personal failure stamp on your head for all to see. You are experiencing what millions of others have and are presently experiencing. Even the wealthiest of our society have experienced extreme financial problems.
- Reduce debt: Get serious about creating a real plan for dealing with your bad debts. Budget and spend in a way that frees up money to pay off your debts as quickly as possible. Talk to a financial advisor or organise a Debt Agreement if you are over your head in debt and at risk of losing your home.
- Choose wealth: Changing habits to creating a secure financial future instead of spending your income on material possessions will give you a feeling of freedom that you wont get from the quick purchase high that never lasts. Purchase less stuff you don’t need and reduce stress by committing to a savings plan.
If you’re facing financial hardship we are here to talk about a solution. Call us on 1300 887 211 or Book a Free No Obligation Phone Consultation with our friendly team and we can discuss debt management options specially focused on your personal situation.