Don’t Freak Over Finances!

If you’re feeling financially stressed, you’re not alone! No matter how dire your funds, it’s within your power to prevent your bottom line from bringing you down. While you might not be able to inflate your bank balance tomorrow, here’s what you can change: count your blessings.

Unfortunately, many of us suffer from the delusion that we’re controlled by our money (or lack of it) – when, really, it’s the other way around! You have the power to create change – literally and figuratively. So, before you even sit down to take a financial snapshot, there’s one thing you simply must do – accept that anything is possible. If you know deep down that you have the power to turn any situation around, you can do it. Find a set of affirmations that really hit home for you, and commit to writing them down, reading them, or saying them – daily.

Resolve to take charge
With that in mind, the next step to relieving your financial stress is deciding to do something about it! While it may be easier to keep muddling along, accepting (and lamenting) the status quo, and ignoring your monetary reality, if you have any hope of easing tension – and changing course – you have to face the music! As much as you may dread sitting down with your bills and doing an analysis, assessing your current income and expenses is the only way to set goals and create your gameplan. Plus, reviewing your finances realistically puts you back in control, automatically lifting some of that burden you’re carrying around.

Pursue opportunity
Now that you know your goals, pro-activity is the way to achieve them. Plus, it’s the best stress remedy around. In addition to thinking positive, you’ll want to make it a point to actively pursue what you want – in the best way you can. More than anything, that means taking calculated chances, and putting yourself out there. In other words, you can’t just wait for your ship to come in. You have to do the research, go to the port, and get yourself a ticket! And every time you do that, you’ll feel better and better about yourself – guaranteed!

Mingle with like-minded people
Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to getting our financial ducks in a row is habit. If you’ve been spending your time with people who spend a lot of money – whether they can afford it or not – it’s no wonder you find yourself treading water and feeling bad. Let your friends know you’ve set some new financial goals for yourself. You won’t be going to dinner as often, or flying off for extravagant vacations. You probably won’t be hitting the sale racks most Saturdays, either.

Then, look for inexpensive or free activities. You may be surprised by your friends’ willingness to join you! If not, cultivate new connections with people who are sympathetic to your goals. The company you keep can make all the difference about how you feel about what you have. Remember, by spending less, you’re not depriving yourself… you’re taking care of yourself!

Seek balance in other areas
Whether we realize it or not, disarray in one part of our lives is often reflected in others. Translation? If you’re stressed out about money, it’s unlikely that the troubles stop there. Instead, you’re probably having issues at work or at home, too. For instance, perhaps you’re as over-committed personally and professionally as you are financially.

That’s why it helps to take a “big picture” approach to stress reduction. Look at your life as a whole. What could you stand to pay more attention to, and which aspects of your life should occupy less time or energy? By cultivating an overall sense of balance, you’ll bring quicker and longer-lasting stress relief to your wallet. And you’ll improve your overall state of being!

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