No. 1 Money Stress Tip
Find your personal anti-money stress safety anchor.
Money stress is triggered many, many times a day; every time you think about not having any money, bring out your wallet, touch your credit cards; out in the shops, at work, at home, see a bill, see a postman, the telephone rings, you open the empty cupboard or turn on the tap, switch on a light, make any decision about anything at all - THERE IT IS, the money stress monster roaring into action.
And EVERY TIME that stress shock happens again, it's like someone gave you a real injection of adrenalin, to set your heart racing and the fight or flight response to stress kicking in.
Only, with money stress, there's no-one to fight, and there's no-where to run.
That's terrible. It's terribly bad for the health, but worst of all, it's terribly bad for thinking clearly and finding the answers and solutions you need to find in order to get out of money stress and stay out of money stress for good.
So the first order of the day is to STOP these adrenaline injections and release that money stress as quickly as possible. If you let it run, it runs into a train track of old thoughts, like,
"I have no money! I can't pay this bill! I don't know what to do! Oh my god what am I going to do! Aaaargh ..."
Then by force, and to stop you from literally busting a blood vessel or having a heart attack, the human mind turns away from that stuff. That's the "sticking your head in the sand" response people in money crisis and money stress are always accused of - they can't do anything else because they are WAY TOO STRESSED to do anything else!
So we need to STOP that.
Sit back a moment, take a deep breath.
Think of something that will collapse that money stress. Perhaps it's that thought that we learned from families in the great depression or in Europe after the 2nd world war, when all lay in ruins, that if your family sticks together, you're going to make it through the hard times and all will be well.
For some people it helps to remember that their children love them, or their parents; and that is more important than money, lasts longer, and gives meaning to life.
For some people, thinking of Jesus helps. Or of the lilies in the field.
For some people remembering a time when they had overcome money problems before, helps stop the slide into the old stress thoughts.
I knew a woman who would look at her dog and think it would be homeless right beside her, it wouldn't care if they took her house away and all her possessions, and that made her immediately feel better.
One guy always thought of his uncle who had next to nothing but was always charming, happy and beloved by all, who had a wonderful life to stop himself from freaking out.
Another guy used a goal - a picture of a yacht on a blue ocean - to pull himself out of negative thinking and money stress. He used to say, "Yeah it's tough at the moment, but I'll get my yacht ... you wait and see!"
A third had done a tough survival training in the army and every time he felt freaked out, he'd say to himself, "I got up that damned mountain in a blizzard - this is NOTHING in comparison! I'll survive this too ..."
A young woman I know had a lucky charm of a patron saint she would kiss and ask for help as soon as she got too stressed.
And a man used a picture of his daughter in the same way.
All these have in common that they focus the mind away from fear and onto something positive and motivational, something good.
This is a simple way to get money stress DOWN and also, to start learning how to control your mind better.
- Please note that to find your personal anti-money-stress anchor you can focus on to stop yourself from freaking out with money stress is not a cure for not having enough money. It opens the door to think more clearly and logically. It also prevents us from making stress-stupid decisions in a moment of crisis and make matters even worse.
Money Stress Tip 2
A problem shared isn't a problem halved, but you get twice the brainpower plus a second opinion, plus you get to see your problems from a different perspective too.
Especially if your money problems are real bad and you're in a crisis, and you've done your best to not let people see how bad it is, you really need to talk to someone.
Think of it like a confession to a priest - just tell them the truth about everything.
This is the start for all change, but you need to be brave and most importantly, not totally stressed out to the point where you simply HAVE to stick your head in the sand so you don't explode or kill yourself, to take this vital step.
If you have absolutely no-one you can trust or talk to, then talk to a cushion.
I'm serious. There is an energy movement when you talk truthfully about what's wrong that can break through big blocks we have, the very blocks where we are stuck and why we are spinning our wheels.
Put a cushion on a chair, or a teddy bear, or a picture of someone you love, trust or admire, and honestly tell them how you got in the mess you got into.
By all means, be sorry, cry, be angry, just tell someone what's going on.
The someone who needs to know in consciousness before everyone else is of course, YOU.
It's ok to be afraid of this. Using anti-stress techniques like Money Tip 1 or any of the other of the many, many techniques we have on this site to relieve stress will help you also get over the fear of looking at how bad it is.
What you will find is that the monster under the bed is a lot more scary to imagine than to shine a torch on; at least then, the horrible tension of terror breaks and we can go into action, fight or flight, and something will come of it.
Money Stress Tip 3
Whatever you did or didn't do to get into the situation you're in right now that causes so much money stress, it really doesn't do to dwell upon it.
Whether it's their fault or not, people in money stress always think that they should have done something different in the past and are angry at themselves, very angry indeed.
This anger eats away at them and causes even more stress; and it can make people sick.
Whatever it was your past self did or didn't do, did too much of, not enough of, left too long or ran away to fast, it really doesn't matter any longer.
All we have is NOW, today, and of course, tomorrow.
If you really can't forgive yourself or stop being angry at yourself, then at least make a truce for now and until we're out of the situation that causes all this money stress.
You need to stick together (!) to overcome your problems, you need you on your side absolutely.
It would be best if you could be kind to yourself, and loving; supportive like you would be supportive to a very good and dear friend who you love and cherish above all else; but if you can't manage that, at least stop beating your past self and your current self up.
If you keep beating up on a horse, it'll just fall down and die and never pull a cart up a steep hill.
Take care of yourself, look after yourself, because you are who is going to pull you out of this problem - no-one else can.
You are the one who needs to make the right moves at the right time, and you know that.
So there we are.
Money stress is truly appalling; very dangerous to health and happiness.
But there always things that can be done to move on a stuck situation; and if we are less stressed and clearer, we can think of ways, and what we need to do, step by step, to get out of the money stress situation.
No matter who you are, what you've been through, or whether your house is literally now on fire, follow the three rules - here they are once more.
1. Find something personal you can use to pull you out of money stress IMMEDIATELY and AS SOON as it happens, 1,000 times a day if necessary.
2. Find someone to talk to so we can know the truth, which will indeed set you free to plan a course of action towards the future with less money stress in it.
3. The final and most important anti-money stress tip is to do the best you can to be kind and forgiving to yourself, and find ways to look after yourself, support yourself, and make you feel better about yourself - and it doesn't matter if you deserve this or not, it's entirely structural to get you out of money stress, and many other problems besides.
Sending you soothing, cooling, calming waves also, and best blessings for a brighter future,
Dr Silvia Hartmann
Tip: Get The Free Mind Over Money Course with many exercises to de-stress, goal setting, thinking clearly created by Dr Silvia Hartmann delivered to your inbox every three days free of charge here.