*By Diane Lang
Finances are a major cause of stress and worry, which can lead to an unbalanced and unhappy life. Here are 7 ways to get rid of financial stress to ensure that you are starting 2013 off right:
1. Money doesn’t equal happiness – if we keep the mindset that we will only be happy when we have more money, then we are waiting for the impossible. Money only makes us a little happier. In the scheme of things, once we make enough money to have our basic needs met we are fine. So, thinking more money will bring happiness is a myth.
2. Can’t control – if we stay focused on our lack of money or debt, we will stay stressed out. Work on what you can control which might be getting another part-time job, saving money, budgeting, cutting coupons, etc. Work on what you can control to move forward or you will get stuck in the can’t mode and that will make you frustrated, angry and stressed out.
3. Take care of you – When you are stressed you need to make sure you take care of yourself. When we are stressed out about finances – or anything for that matter – we tend to forget about our health and then we get sick, fatigued and exhausted. This causes more stress. So make sure to eat right, drink plenty of water, exercise, etc.
4. Ask for help – if your finances are bad and it’s a situation that is out of your reach, then go to a financial planner/advisor. Ask for help.
5. Live in the moment – financial stress can come from our worries about tomorrow. How will I pay off this student loan, will I get the raise, will I get the job, etc. We don’t have control over tomorrow so to worry about is a waste of time. Focus on what you have today.
6. Add some fun – preoccupy yourself, take a stress break – have fun with your kids, go for a walk, have lunch with a friend, do something that will make you feel better.
7. Take action – it’s great to set goals, but without an action plan, they will just remain goals. So, set up on paper (so it’s visual and concrete) your goals and action plan to get there. The goals don’t have to be huge, they can start small. For example: Starting a budget, making lunch and coffee at home to save money, cutting coupons, etc.
Diane Lang is a nationally recognized author, educator, speaker, and therapist.