Control Your Financial Anxiety

Are you feeling some Financial Insecurity? Most of us are concerned if not anxious. Or, there are times in life when the economy or business decisions create feelings of insecurity. The recent worldwide recession is  a case in point for the reality of financial uncertainty.

Most people are paying close attention to the dramatic changes in world financial markets. We can not avoid the media frenzy and the feeling in the pit of our stomachs when events in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East cause a flare up in our normal life. Have you lost any sleep thinking about what has happened and wondering about what will the future bring? Some people get that pain in the neck or shoulders, or a tighter than normal jaw, as we attempt to control the upheaval in the financial world by the force of our “will.” Many people are checking their blood pressures or finding an elevation in their heart rate as we respond to the drama…

All of these reactions are caused by our individualized habit patterns that respond when we are experiencing stress. This stress may not be coming from a direct physical threat but our fears and anxieties are triggering this survival response. We can be distracted by our body’s reaction to stress. The “quality of our lives” is reduced by fear and uncertainty. If you are not in denial about the negative effects of financial stress, then you probably want to not be a victim to your body’s reactions to external financial uncertainties.

The first thing to do is to be aware that this reaction is a normal reaction to uncertainty and understand how your unique habitual response manifests. Everyone inherits or learns a pattern of response to emotional stressors. For every physical system that reacts to the stress of change, you can learn to minimize or stop this habituated response. The second thing that you will need to learn is to control your body’s stress response by “letting go” of your habit of holding physical stress in certain systems. This does require some time and some dedication, but you can learn to break your habit pattern. When you can control your body’s reaction you are not only “empowered” but you can save lots of time and energy. This saving of time and energy comes from reducing the waste of energy to physically held tension and reduction of the mental distractions that cause mistakes, accidents, or which slow you down.

So if you want to feel better and perform at a higher level then you must invest some time in the regular, and preventive, practice of an effective stress management strategy. I recommend that you try several forms of relaxation (stress management) and find the one that works for you, and that you feel comfortable with using in a preventive way. Consider learning and using Autogenic Training, Progressive Relaxations, Visualization or Imagery for Relaxation, various styles of Meditation, and possibly, some Yogic practices. Biofeedback technology can offer objective feedback regarding whether your chosen form of stress management is actually effective and providing the benefits you require. You can find the best ways to control your reactions to stress and to improve your quality of life!

Remember, the things that are the most stressful to you, are the things that you care the most about but that you can not fully control! Without full control, our minds create the fears and anxieties that drive our increased stress responses. So, even though we can not control the abrupt changes in the financial markets, we can control the way we respond to these financial fluctuations. These are desperate times for our finances, but for most of us, it is not an immediately life threatening situation. Let’s practice minimizing our stress reactions so we can have more grace in the way we cope with these difficult situations. At the very least we can be good role models for other people in these trying times.

Please take good care of yourself. This will help us ALL survive the anxieties of our uncertain times.


L. John Mason, Ph.D. is the country’s leading stress management expert and the author of the best selling “Guide to Stress Reduction.” Since 1977, he has offered Success & Executive Coaching and Training.Please visit the Stress Education Center’s website at Stress, Stress Management, Coaching, and Training for articles, free ezine signup, and learn about the new telecourses that are available. If you would like information or a targeted proposal for training or coaching, please contact us at (360) 593-3833.

If you are looking to promote your training or coaching career, please investigate the Professional Stress Management Training and Certification Program for a secondary source of income or as career path.