Money Anxiety: How to Manage Worry and Stress – Episode 449

A recent survey reveals that 52 percent of adults say that money negatively impacts their mental health. Another survey reports that 77% of Americans feel anxious about their financial situation. Money or financial anxiety is defined as the persistent and constant worry and stress about finances.
Money anxiety is experienced by people that are well off and those who are struggling financially. Financial anxiety has the potential to paralyze us with stress and fear and move us to make poor financial decisions. However, it’s possible to manage our money without anxiety and with control and confidence. In this episode, Ted discusses what to do if you are challenged by money anxiety.

 

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I don’t know about you but where I live in Southern California, everything seems to have gotten a lot more expensive. Eating out at a restaurant for my family of four will easily be close to a hundred dollars or more. My car insurance went up with the addition of the new used car I just bought as well as having a teenager driving now. Let’s not even talk about the cost of a gallon of gas.

As a hypnotherapist who has helped many people cope with money anxiety over the years, I can tell you that it’s one of the biggest challenges for people today. If you’ve been feeling anxious about money and finances lately, you are not alone. The American Psychological Association did a survey in 2022 called the Stress in America Survey. 87 percent of people who responded listed inflation as a source of significant stress.

According to a financial wellness survey conducted by Bankrate, 52 percent of adults say that money negatively impacts their mental health. Also, according to this same survey, women are more likely to experience financial stress than men — 56 percent of women said money has a negative effect on their mental health, compared to 47 percent of men.

Furthermore, according to a new Mind over Money survey by Capital One and The Decision Lab, 77% of Americans report feeling anxious about their financial situation.

Money or financial anxiety is defined as the persistent and constant worry and stress about finances including:

· Not having enough money to pay bills.

· Concerns about future financial stability as well as in retirement.

· Social expectations and comparing yourself to how you perceive others are doing financially and making it mean something bad about yourself.

· Exaggerated worries about becoming homeless and destitute even though this might be highly unlikely for you. In other words, maybe you have a good income and all the money you need to take care of your financial obligations but you still have a deep feeling of unease or worry that you’re going to lose it all.

We all have stress and worry about money occasionally, but financial or money anxiety can be debilitating and like most types of anxiety, can lead to various physical and emotional challenges such as problems sleeping, feeling overwhelmed, aches and pains caused by worry and stress and feelings of guilt for what you should’ve or could’ve done in the past but didn’t.

Some of the symptoms that can alert you that worry and stress about money has turned into money anxiety are:

· Avoidance. You don’t want to talk about it, think about it or do anything to address your situation. You’re not checking your bank accounts, not paying bills, not planning.

· Family conflicts. There are arguments over money and irritability and resentment over choices or purchases made in the past.

· Overspending or fear of spending. You might start overspending to self soothe or stop spending any money at all, even on necessities.

· Hoarding. You save everything, not throwing anything away.

· Gambling and other risky behaviors.

· Substance abuse as a way to deal with stress and avoid addressing the problem. This is very common and very destructive.

Whether we are struggling to make ends meet or doing fine but still experiencing worry and stress about money, the thing to remember is that money anxiety can keep us from taking the actions we need to take to get control over our money and our emotions. Money anxiety and its symptoms can contribute to poor financial decisions creating a more insecure financial state.

So how can we begin to let go of worry and anxiety and take control to make things better?

Start with your mental health. Get your head on straight. This is where it all starts. Get grounded, pay attention to sleeping, eating and exercise and avoid unhealthy behaviors such as drinking. Get yourself a therapist or hypnotherapist if you need to talk to someone to get out of that fight/flight response and address any negative feelings of guilt, resentment, stress, and anxiety.

Next, deal with your money situation head on. Review your finances and take things one step at a time. Be clear about how your money is being spent and how much you need to meet your monthly obligations. Prioritize bills or the things that require the most attention. Make a budget so that you can track your spending. When you dive in and start addressing your situation this will give you a feeling of control which will help lower anxiety. It’s about taking action even though it might be uncomfortable.

Ask for help from an expert. Even if that is someone in your family that is better with money than you. Seek out a financial advisor or counselor that you trust. You don’t need to do it on your own.

Create some financial goals. What do you want? Can you begin a savings program so that you have some cash on hand? Can you open an IRA or contribute a bit more to your 401k? Take some time to create short term goals such as saving a specific amount of money or paying off a debt but also create long term goals for a home or car purchase or funding education.

Track your expenses so that you can control your spending. Write expenses down in a checkbook register or review your account online weekly. Regularly review your

financial situation so that you know what’s going on and are actively managing your finances. “Where attention goes, energy flows” is a quote by Tony Robbins and James Redfield that suggests that whatever you focus on will grow.

Work on your relationship with money. You have a story about money that is in a large part based on the programming you received about money. Your relationship with money, and hence how much money you have, will have a lot to do with the story you have been telling yourself. The implication here is that if you have problems with money, it may have a lot to do with how you think about money. We all bring our own associations to finances and money and some associations are good and some are bad. Try to identify beliefs about money that keep you stuck in feelings of scarcity and worry. Read books, listen to podcasts, and educate yourself on how to be better with money. Watch your self-talk, avoid catastrophic thinking, and never affirm that you have no money, or that you are broke, or use language that keeps worry and fear in place.

One of the most helpful books that I have read that helped me release my own money anxiety is Busting Loose from the Money Game: Mind-Blowing Strategies for Changing the Rules of a Game You Can’t Win by Robert Scheinfeld. There is a process described in this book that I have used to significantly and permanently release much of the money anxiety I used to have. I also invite you to listen to my Ted in Your Head podcast episode 443: 7 Steps to Change Scarcity Consciousness to an Abundance Mindset. By the way, did you know Ted in Your Head is on Spotify now?

Lastly, my good friend Michelle Arpin Begina has released her excellent book Be Good with Money and I am reading it and really enjoying it and I recommend you get it too. It’s available on Amazon.com. I plan to have her as my guest on a future podcast but in the meantime, check out my podcast interview with Michelle by searching for Ted in Your Head episode 319 at tedmoreno.com/podcast or by clicking here.

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After today’s episode, you might be asking how hypnotherapy and high performance coaching can help you transform money anxiety into confidence, shatter limiting thinking and activate the best and most prosperous version of yourself. If so, Ted is extending to you a one-time complimentary consultation. If you know that you’re ready to do something different and you are interested in exploring hypnotherapy to see if it’s a good fit for you, then you can request the consultation at https://tedmoreno.com/contact.

I hope you found today’s episode helpful. Here’s a quote to close it out:

“Dogs have no money. Isn’t that amazing? They’re broke their entire lives. But they get through. You know why dogs have no money? No Pockets.” —Jerry Seinfeld, comedian

Thanks for listening and be sure to cultivate that feeling of abundance first in your mind.

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