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Money Matters and Managing Your Mental Health

 Are you familiar with the old adage, “Money isn’t everything”? Essentially, that’s true. But if you don’t have any money, the lack of it can be an all-consuming issue that may wreak intense havoc on your mental health.  In fact, over 70% of Americans stress over money, and claim financial difficulties are a leading cause of emotional distress and anxiety.

While budgeting and managing money is a great solution to reduce money-related stress, it’s not always a viable option.  When you’re in a nail-biting situation wondering how in the world you’re going to make rent, you need immediate relief.  Here are a few tips to managing your mental health when you’re in the midst of financial duress.

Identify the Problem and Emotional Triggers

You might be thinking, “Well, duh. The problem is money!”  Fair enough.  However, is money (or lack of it) really the core problem?  If you think about it, you might agree that what’s truly troubling your emotional wellbeing is the stress and panic associated with your finances.  In other words, the emotions you have connected to money are negatively impacting your mental health – not the money itself.

It’s important to acknowledge specific emotions triggered when you are in a financial bind.  For instance, getting an unexpected bill on top of a pile of existing debt might aggravate preexisting conditions such as attention deficit disorders or post-traumatic stress. 

Very often, money hassles can exacerbate an already fragile emotional state.  Identifying your emotional condition by getting online ADHD treatment, behavioral therapy or counseling can help you get a baseline on your mental health.  In turn, this can help you more effectively recognize how money issues are threatening your mental wellbeing. 

Furthermore, recognizing your emotional response to money better equips you to handle money-centric pain points and triggers when they come upon you.  When you know how you respond to financial flair-ups, you’re more able to employ coping tools and resources to diffuse emotional unrest.

Money and Meditation

When you find yourself in a panic-stricken moment of money woes, sitting in meditation is probably the last thing you’re thinking about doing.  Ironically, that is the perfect moment to meditate.   To explain, meditation is the ultimate equalizer. It’s proven to lower blood pressure, promote serenity, reduce stress and augers a sense of wellbeing.  So when you’re up to your eyeballs in debt, meditation can essentially help you manage stress more deftly so you can push through financial conflicts more calmly and with a more balanced approach.

Try Positive Affirmations

Meditation combined with reciting affirmations is a great way to protect your mental health if you are combating money blues.  It might be tempting to scoff at this tip, but there is evidence that positive affirmations do work if they are done in conjunction with realistic mental health practices.

To elaborate, blindly using positive affirmations without acknowledging you have real money problems is both erroneous and enforces denial, which isn’t good for your mental health at all.  Instead, use affirmations that are well-thought, mature, and honest.  For example, you could affirm something like, “My money matters are difficult. However, I have the resources, intelligence, and fortitude to handle it.”

Talk About It

Money has a weird way of twisting our personalities.  It can cause us to isolate or do things we might not ever do in our right minds.  That’s why talking about money matters with people you trust is so important.  Think about joining a support group with people in similar financial situations as you are experiencing.  This is an effective way to stay balanced, avoid making irrational decisions and get the support you need while enduring money miseries.

If sharing with strangers in a group or talking to friends and family isn’t an option, then do think about getting professional counseling.  It might be tempting to dismiss paying for therapy when you’re scraping for pennies.  However, there are counseling services available that are free or offer financial assistance. 

Remember, you don’t have to go through financial trauma alone, and your mental health doesn’t have to suffer from money strains. Speaking to a therapist about your emotionally charged money issues can be incredibly cathartic and healing for your mental wellbeing.  

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