There are millions of self-help books and online resources that help
people who are in a difficult financial situation. Most of the advice
usually deals with attacking the causes of the problem and alleviating
the budgeting issues, which is great, but what about the psychological
toll being broke can take on a person? Stress and anxiety aren’t
healthy at the best of times, but when the problem is money and there
just isn’t enough of it, you can feel like you’re going crazy.
Decreased ability to sleep, focus, or enjoy life can turn a tricky
financial situation into an all-out assault on your mind and your
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the worse your money situation
gets, the more you need to make an effort not to think about it so much.
Sure, of course you need to form a plan of action to get your finances
back in order, but how much of the time that you spend worrying is
actually taken up with constructive planning? Set aside a few hours to
get a strategy together, make the necessary decisions, and then do your
best to move on with your week, as hard as that can be. You are doing
everything you can, and there is absolutely zero point in mulling it
over all hours of the day and night. Remember, despite what it may seem
like right now, there are other things in your life besides this money
problem, wonderful things that will give you a great deal of comfort and
happiness if you let them.
Try to get a bit of perspective on your situation. Because money
dictates so much of what we define as our lifestyle, in our heads we
magnify every glitch until even the smallest bump in the road seems like
the end of the world. But take a moment and think about a rough
financial period you had ten or even five years ago.
Didn’t that one seem like the end of the world, too? Don’t they all seem that way when
you’re in the midst of them? Sure, those memories may not be the most
pleasant, but the point is that you got through those times, and you’re
still around. It’s not that big a deal anymore. Despite what you
thought at the time, those money situations were not the end of you, and
you are infinitely capable of bouncing back, both then and now.
Remember that no situation lasts forever, and try to be patient. Enjoy
the other, more pleasant aspects of your life in the mean time. Crisp
autumn days and good conversations with friends will always be free.
It is easier said than done to stop worrying when your bank balance
is not what you’d like it to be, but with some concerted effort to bring
your focus to other things, you can help manage your anxiety level to
the point where you can deal with any and all financial issues
constructively, with a clear head. Be careful, though, about going too
far off into daydreaming, because wallowing in denial can cause even
more serious problems. Don’t ignore the situation, but do make an
effort to formulate a plan as soon as possible, so then you can put
those worries aside and get on with the better things in your life.