If you’re in a reasonably stable position but still generally fretting about savings or debt on a daily basis … that constant low hum of money stress is exhausting.
I’ve learned the hard way that if all your mental energy is expended on immediate money worries and needs from day-to-day, you won’t have any left over to actually plan for the future, make good strategic decisions and focus on moving forward. If you’re anything like me, this spills over into other areas of your life like work (leading to underperforming) and relationships (leading to isolation).
Worrying intensely about not having enough often distracts you from actually doing anything about it. Wallowing is easy; taking steps to solve the problem is harder.
Don’t let those feelings overwhelm you!
Here are two things I try to bring it back to…
What can you do about it right now?
What would you do if the Terrible Thing came to pass? And then what? And what next? And after that?
See, you’ve probably got Plans A-D right there, stepped out already.
Contingency plans are important, don’t get me wrong. But when you’re too wrapped up in concerns about what could go wrong rather than considering what could potentially go right; if you do the same things and continue the same thought patterns – you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels and going nowhere.
Fear is a constant companion to me. And rather than letting it steer, I relegate it to the backseat. In the passenger seat, I’d much rather have someone more upbeat.
Your BEST case scenario
What if it worked? What if this had legs? What if this were to fly?
Think better thoughts. Ask better questions. Actively replace those gloomy visions with visions of your ideal outcome instead.
What if it all went so right?
A positive, future-oriented approach does wonders for your emotional state.
And that starts with getting a handle on your fears and your thoughts.
The thing is, our hypotheses are often way off. We can’t predict things. But we just can’t help ourselves, can we? Our brains are wired to focus on negative. Anticipate risk. Keep us on guard and safe. Which doesn’t serve us well in today’s world; a world where danger is less about mortal risk out there, and more about what we perceive inside our heads.
And that is never truer than when it comes to money.
But these two habits can go a long way to curbing the drama of money stress.
(Liked this? Then you’ll probably love Money Groove, my digital course designed to guide you toward finding your own financial groove and slaying those money demons.)