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News18 » Lifestyle
6-min read

9 Ways to Combat Financial Anxiety During Covid-19 Pandemic

Financial anxiety shares many criteria of a generalised anxiety disorder, like excessive worry, irritability and difficulty concentrating.

IANS

Updated:May 14, 2020, 1:43 PM IST
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9 Ways to Combat Financial Anxiety During Covid-19 Pandemic
Representative image.

As the pandemic looms large, in response to its changing dynamics, the businesses and employment sector are grappling with "tremendous apprehensions" about their future.

A sluggish economic growth in a "great lockdown" conjures up visions of a cascading fallout.

Like a millions others, you might find yourself on the sudden verge of a "lay-off" or a "pay cut" while working from home. Unlike other situations, the income level turmoil may be unpredictable and can be a devastating blow for many. This has the potential to result in a "psychosocial syndrome" i.e. financial-anxiety, a "money anxiety disorder" which cultivates a feeling of stress, worry and concern about your finances, wherein individuals have an uneasy and unhealthy anxiety about engaging with and administering their personal finance in an effective way.

Financial anxiety is a monetary monster that haunts many by stoking worry. It can be highly debilitating and can cause significant distress. For instance - any of you might be waking up in the middle of the night, and while you try to get back to sleep, your mind wanders off to the blurry thoughts about having no funds to thrive. And before you know it, you're in a full blown 5 am panic attack. What begins as a passing thought to pay the bills, can suddenly leave you horrifically anxious and worried about how you'd pay those bills if you lost your job, how to climb out of debt, or how to make your budget stretch for the month. If this is regular, it can negatively impact mental and physical health and career.

Financial anxiety is common, it's not insurmountable - and recognizing what triggers your anxiety can help you cope with it.

Acknowledge the Signs:

Financial anxiety shares many criteria of a generalised anxiety disorder, like excessive worry, irritability and difficulty concentrating.

Feeling heavily depressed or anxious about finances

An obsession with being frugal

Discomfort with accumulating wealth

Physical body reactions like - Intense sweating, headaches, shoulder aches or cold palms

Inability to change financial behaviour, loss of control in one's thoughts and feelings or loss of hope and disconnectedness.

Insomnia or over sleeping

Loss of appetite or binge eating

If the question, "how to accumulate money" leaves you in a cold sweat there may be a deeper reason behind the stress. However, the good news is that you can absolutely put your negative thoughts in full control by taking a step back from your worst fears and making sure you control your cash - and not the other way around.

Ways to manage your financial anxiety:

1. Explore your body and mind

If you have a sudden physical reaction like cold or sweaty palms, racing heartbeat due to unpleasant emotion while talking about money, acknowledge it immediately. Start paying attention to your negative emotions and how your body is reacting while discussing money. How does your mind react when you make any transaction or check account balance? Try being aware of what kind of emotions and patterns are situated inside your body and mind for example- "sweating heavily due to intense fear". Consider the conversation that is triggering these negative feelings. Is it how you communicate with yourself while conceptualising finance? How do you communicate with your partner? Or, are you feeling guilty or ashamed of being underpaid or pay cut?

A proper body and mental-health check, evaluating behaviour teaches to work with our emotions instead of getting overwhelmed by them, and how to deal with these unwanted feelings is necessary. Clarity of what's going on so that we're not so consumed is essential.

2. Capture the essence of Positive thinking

Positive thinking helps with stress management. An individual must embark upon focusing on the good aspects of the finances instead of undergoing negative feelings. Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your mind in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst. Positive thinking won't magically pay your bills or stretch your budget, but it can help capture the essence of stillness and calm over your fears. It will help you recognise and appreciate your financial strengths, which could lead to solutions to some of your problems.

3."Square breathing" or "Box Breathing" to ease the stress & anxiousness

Deep breathing multiple times a day always helps to centre oneself, when one has financial ups and downs. Square breathing also helps to relieve stress. It is a type of breathwork that can shift your energy, connect you more deeply with your body, calm your nervous system, and decrease stress in your body. It can also heighten the performance and concentration while also being a powerful stress reliever.

Step 1: Slowly exhale through your mouth while being seated upright, getting all the oxygen out of your lungs.

Step 2: Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the count of four.

Step 3: Hold your breath for another slow count of four.

Step 4: Exhale for the same slow count of four, expelling the air from your lungs.

Step 5: Hold your breath for another slow count of four.

Repeat from step 2 till 5 for 5 times to start with.

4. Reframe the limiting belief systems

Money is a form of energy. And our idea about money usually comes from our subconscious mind and consciousness of scarcity. Deep down, we might have belief systems about money that are in most probability rooted in our childhood. We might have seen how money was treated by our primary caregivers when we were small.

Even if one loses a job, he/she can handle the situation differently depending upon the belief system about money. If that person has been carrying limiting beliefs about money, then financial anxiety is suspected to hit him harder. One can take help of a professional therapist or counsellor to reframe the subconscious mind, and hence the belief system. There are many ways to do that - meditation, affirmations, mirror work, NLP, hypnosis and many more.

5. Use the Zibu symbol of Abundance

Use the Zibu Symbol of Abundance in front of your work desk to invite abundance energies into your life. You can also use the Zibu symbol of Release to remove unwanted negative energy from your mind, body and environment. You can either air-draw the symbols on your body, room, books, desk or you can also draw the symbols on a piece of paper with a pen and stick them on the wall or book or your work stuff. You can draw the symbols on your body with a pen as well.

6. Healing Crystals

Take the help of healing crystals that are good for manifesting abundance consciousness, like pyrite, citrine, green aventurine, Labradorite etc. With intention, palace them in the wealth corner (south-east) of your house or work place for manifesting abundance.

7. Banish the financial guilt & shame

The feeling of guilt and shame or embarrassment over your mounting pile of debt or loss of job, pay cut or money mismanagement can lead to an aura of shame, whether it's a lack of money, incorrect budgeting or simply being ignorant about proper budgeting practice. "Practice empathy", to forgive yourself and let go of the feelings of guilt and shame. It is mandatory to develop the tendency of empathizing with yourself to nurture your inner child and make yourself productive during such looming situations. This will ultimately serve in erasing any negative feelings inside of you.

8. Visualise - "I am a money magnet"

Work upon your fears related to money. Write them down in detail. Then meditate upon those fears and visualise them melting away. Visualise yourself surrounded by money and abundance, be happy in that state for some time. Repeat to yourself multiple times everyday - "I am a money magnet".

9. Japanese technique Arigato

Practice the Japanese technique Arigato - which essentially tells to thank the money whenever it is going from you to someone or coming to you from someone. Gratitude is one of the highest energies one can have around.

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