Yes, you can deal with financial stress effectively and creatively. Here are six surprising ways to stress less about finances; these tips are from a variety of experts, ranging from psychologists to medical doctors.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.” ~ Terri Guillemets.
I know this is much easier said than done – but this tips for dealing with financial stress will help you find wings for your stress and let it fly away (or kick it to the curb!).
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5 (Surprising) Ways to Deal With Financial Stress
Stress less with 5-HTP and kava kava
What’s the connection between plant extracts and financial stress? According to Dr Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, kava kava is taken from the root of a South Pacific pepper plant. Taking 300 mg daily can help you stress less about your finances by promoting relaxation and sleep, and relieving muscle tension. Dr Orloff also recommends 150 mg 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) daily. It’s a plant extract that converts into serotonin in the brain, and gently reduces anxiety and improves sleep. Together, these herbs will improve your emotional state and help you deal with financial stress.
Take a close look at your alcohol and medicine intake
Hitting the bottle – even the red wine bottle, and even “just” a few drinks a night – can contribute to feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety (after the high has worn off!). Too much alcohol leads to poor sleep patterns; those feelings of fatigue can make dealing with financial stress seem overwhelming. And, taking prescription medications on top of too much alcohol will compound the problem. Plus – “Alcohol affects many medications – especially pain, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant prescriptions,” says Julia Tatum Hunter, M.D. So, even though booze may seem like a helpful and fun escape, remember that it doesn’t help you stress less about your finances.
Create a plan for actively dealing with your finances
Taking action to deal with your financial problems – even if you just figure out your household budget – can help you stress less significantly! “Those moving aimlessly through life are unlikely to end up suddenly starting a new business or losing a significant amount of weight,” writes Richard Wiseman in 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute. “Successful participants broke their overall goal into a series of sub-goals and thereby created a step-by-step process that helped remove the fear and hesitation associated with trying to achieve a major life change. These plans were especially powerful when the sub-goals were concrete, measurable, and time-based.”
Put coffee on the back burner until breakfast is over
“Excess caffeine leads to headaches, muscle tremors, sleep disturbances, and high blood sugar levels,” says Manhattan-based psychologist Joseph Cilona. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach causes sugar levels to spike 250% higher than with food, which lowers your ability to deal with financial stress. Plus, Dr Cilona says, “High glucose levels have been associated with impaired attention, decreased speed of information processing, impaired memory, lethargy, agitation, anxiety, and mood disturbance. These effects can have a dramatic negative impact on our ability to cope with daily stressors and usually compromise mental functioning significantly.”
Budget with pistachios (a surprising way to deal with financial stress!)
Research from Penn State University shows that pistachios lower blood pressure and lessen the biological effects of all types of stress – including financial. Bonus: pistachios are high in antioxidants and healthy fiber. The healthier you are physically, the better able you’ll be to take care of yourself financially and emotionally.
Have you heard of Suze Orman’s new book, The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream? It’s a bestseller, and she’s a financial wizard who knows how to stress less about finances. You may find it helpful.
If more financial tips, read Easing Financial Stress for Couples – 5 Tips for Money and Love.
And if you have any thoughts or questions on dealing with financial stress, please comment below…