Anxiety about money? If you worry too much about money, you are not alone. Many, if not everyone is worry about money. In fact, surveys have consistently found that finances are one of the common sources of anxiety.
Maybe you’re worried about getting enough money for retirement or you are living paycheck-to-paycheck and struggling to pay your mortgage or rent on time. More borrowing will only add to the unease.
Many people are finding it difficult to pay their bills. This is common around the world because surveys have shown that most people have anxiety about money.
However, from personal and professional experience, anxiety about money is not entirely dependent on the financial situation. Some people earn more money, yet worried about their finances. On the opposite end, some people that earn less tend to remain calm.
How to overcome anxiety about money
While the financial situation is one of the things that trigger anxiety about money, there are other ways one can manage these concerns. Try some of the following suggestions and see what happens.
1. Remember that even financial ruin would not be the end of the world
Going bankrupt, facing foreclosure on our home and losing our jobs are what we often imagine as our financial catastrophe. We often imagine them as the cliff at the edge of the world and the end of life. In fact, I also feel this way.
When I worry about the fallout if I were no longer able to work, I always feel like I would lose my house and feel that would be Game Over. And if that were to really happen, it would be a challenge one has to face together family. Some families are already facing a problem like this.
The ending we imagine only exists in our mind. Truly, life will go on, no matter what happens. Something must come next. So rather than anticipating a bad conclusion, always remember that life is big enough to contain your feared financial outcomes, and that life won’t end even if they come true.
2. Make a budget and keep records
Sometimes anxiety about money comes from where the money is going or the amount we actually have. Some of us don’t even make a budget and track our expenses because of anxiety.
Your anxiety about money can stop if you make a budget and track your expenses. If you are not sure where to start, you can check resources that can make it easier for you online. You will probably feel more anxiety when you start making a budget and tracking your expenses, which is normal.
If you stick with it, you will get more familiar with the specifics of finances, which will, in turn, reduce your anxiety about money.
3. Practice gratitude towards money
Ken Honda says, “it is good to say “thank you” each time you are given money or receive it.” Through this practice, you can develop what is known as “Happy Money,” in which positive emotions are attached to your money rather than fear, resentment, guilt, etc.
When you get paid, say thank you. When you pass the money along to another person in exchange for something you need, say thank you. When you have unexpected medical bills that drain your saving, say thank you that I can afford the care for myself and family members and that medical expertise is available. Gratitude is death to anxiety about money.
4. Look deeper than money
Having anxiety about money typically points to something deeper. If you want to discover the underlying fears that drive your financial anxiety, just ask this question, “What would be the worst thing if —– happened? Then fill the gap with that thing you are afraid of – not being able to pay your rent, losing your job, etc.
Continue asking yourself the worst thing that would be the outcome of your fear until you find your deeper fear – is it being inadequate? Ending up being homeless? Or losing the respect of family and friend?
If you refuse to ask these questions, the main root of your concerns will still be hidden and remain unaddressed. Once you find your deeper fear, you can address it (perhaps with the help of a therapist).
5. Build your relationship
Reaching “financial security” is what causes most of your fretting about money. Unfortunately, this type of security is just an illusion. It is just an illusion because as your saving and portfolios grow, so do your worries: you worry and think, What if the stock market crashes? Or What if the financial system goes belly up?
If you place your faith in your financial situation, you will continue to have reasons to worry. The best insurance against the financial issue is to invest in your relationships. The true value of money comes from exchanging it for something else like clothing or food.
No matter what happens with your money, the people that really care about you will be there for you when you need them. Practically, they can offer a place to live or food to eat. Investing in relationships has a low risk, but a great return.
6. Open to uncertainty
Anxiety about money mainly comes from uncertainty about the future and lack of control over how things will unfold. You are not sure if your company will downsize or whether climate change will cause an economic catastrophe or if the economy will tank.
We always expend too much energy trying to figure out what the future would look like and make it align with our wishes. When you think too much about how to control the future, your efforts to eliminate uncertainty may backfire.
Why not let go of your struggle? There is nothing that makes life an adventure than uncertainty. In fact, the outcome we fear most times often turn out better than what we’re hoping for. For instance, when a job loss ends up leading to a more rewarding career. It’s better to embrace the uncertainty about the future than trying to erase it.
7. Shift your perspective
Our culture is saturated with images of wealth, success and happiness. Of course, your social media feeds are probably the same. Thus it is easy to think that everyone is doing fine financially and that your concerns are personal and unique. This imagination can trigger not just anxiety but resentment and envy.
Stop thinking that your financial worries are unique and personal! You should understand that some people are worse off than you.
The bottom line
Keep it in mind that joy is an option, no matter what your situations. If you choose to be happy, you will be happy and it will be good for your health. Happiness and health are friends, so choose to be happy.
The last of human freedom is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances. This applies perfectly to your financial concerns. As you release your anxiety about money, you can fully enjoy what is yours.
Determine to notice all you have, including the clothes you wear, a home that shelters you and the food you eat. No matter what your bank balance is, enjoying your life feel really being rich.