Financial Stress and Anxiety - Costing You Your Sense
Our lives are getting busier, and learning how to relieve worry and increase our satisfaction in life is starting to become an obvious task – we can’t just hope that these things will happen without us paying close attention to them. No one is going to care more about these things than you.
This is me in action!
People are talking about these issues and thanks to a shift in societal awareness, mental health issues are now being addressed in the media, the corporate world and among the general public. Issues like depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts are prevalent on the posters in male bathrooms, while post-natal depression, eating disorders and self-injury are explored in female orientated print sources. There is however a growing trend for an issue which doesn't discriminate on gender, age or ethnicity – it can affect anyone.
That issue is financial stress, which is ever growing in our current financial climate. Living above your means, living from pay check to pay check, keeping up with the Jones’s, not having a financial mentor (you only know what you know) or plan for your future all cause financial stress and anxiety. As you're reading this, you may begin reflecting on the role wealth plays in your life or how monetary problems have affected someone you know. Rest assured that it's not all doom and gloom and we’ll explore some options to help you sleep better at night.
We'd all love to win the lotto or come across a huge financial windfall but unfortunately these events are really unlikely (according to the Barefoot Investor, the chance of picking up a ‘set for life’ lotto prize is 1 in 38,608,020!) Instead we need to consider if financial stress is impacting upon our relationships or health, and if it is, do something about it. And the great news is – there will be a solution for you. I’ve never met anyone yet where there hasn’t been! Let’s explore some common issues.
Management of Finances Contributing to Divorce
In Australia, 70% of couples report money as a point of tension in their relationship (Relationships Australia 2015) and it doesn’t seem to matter if you have a lot or a little. More than 80% of these couples suggested that financial difficulties were likely to negatively affect their relationship. In situations of divorce or separation different opinions and management of finances were key influencers. Interestingly, it was found that almost half (49%) of the 1521 respondents identified personal finances as their leading cause of stress. So if you’re in this situation, what can you do today, that might have a positive impact upon not just your relationship but your stress and anxiety? For some, you’ll be able to have an in-depth conversation about what money matters are important to you and why, and you be able to take some action to move towards your financial goals.
For others, you may need the assistance of a psychologist like myself, as counselling can foster a calmer environment and produce tangible results. What I’ve noticed with couples in particular is that sometimes the challenge is more around how you communicate with each other about money, rather than the money itself. If this sounds all too familiar then relax knowing that you are welcome to visit as a couple or family if you prefer.
In Debt With Your Health
There are a number of maladaptive (unhealthy) strategies that people choose to help cope with stress and anxiety. Things like smoking cigarettes (almost a relaxation technique, until the nicotine hits!), comfort eating or excessive consumption of alcohol are but a few examples. These of course negatively affect your health and meanwhile Better Health Victoria identified that untreated stress can lead to serious illness. I want you to have confidence that we can provide healthier alternatives to better cope with stress, and in particular stress caused by financial concerns.
Let’s be honest, if you’re not going to look after your health then you aren’t going to enjoy your wealth.
Invest in Sense
If the feeling of stress is taking a tight grip on your life then we're happy to let you know there's support available. Before the burden of financial stress takes a hold of your relationship, business or personal health, come in for a consultation and we’ll discuss your thoughts around wealth and financial stress and take a look at any behaviours that aren’t serving you. Together we’ll work out what your real goals are (see an example of a ‘real goal' here) and get you on the right trajectory with support and guidance. As the old saying goes "knowledge is power" and it always pays to invest in sense.
Relationships Australia - August 2015: Impact of financial problems on relationships
Better Health Victoria - September 2014: Stress