How do you reduce stress during times of financial uncertainty?
Many people feel concerned or experience anxiety due to Corona pandemic. Worrying about what will be, what if, what to do, how will they manage, and more…This is not surprising. The financial uncertainty and the shutdown touches upon our own survival instincts in the face of uncertainty.
We are conditioned to respond to stress. When our mind perceives ‘threat’ our body’s “fight-or-flight” response system will kick in. This is a built-in mechanism that we are born with. Our modern time constantly bombards us with stressors, and our body misinterprets them as threats. Consequently, we may constantly feel on edge, causing our mind to release certain hormones to fight the feeling, which is how stress is formed.
There are a few things you can do to alleviate stress and bring more peace and harmony to your life while going through the Corona pandemic. The tips below will help you settle your nerves and put your mind at ease. Try them, they work!
Your first step is to make sure you take time for yourself. It may sound simple, or like common sense, but sometimes it can be hard to implement. You must make sure that you give yourself the gift of time to gather your thoughts. It will improve your psychological and physical well-being.
Taking time for you has many forms and can be implemented in various ways; it can include any, or all, of the following:
1. To identify your stress triggers: Stress has become part of our reality, but the positive note is that we can identify what triggers it and take actions to eliminate its unhealthy side effects. Before you jump to take action, take time to identify the elements associated with the sources of stress. Are you stressed because you cannot bear the feeling of losing everything? Is it due to the loss of money? Is it your spouse’s behavior that is causing you stress? Whatever it may be, first you must recognize the specific causes of your stress. Once you have clearly identified the causes, you can take actions to eliminate them.
2. To process or understand feelings: Make sure you are aware of how you feel. When needed, do not hold back emotions, especially crying. There is no shame in it. It is the gift given to us and serves as a release mechanism. When we release sad emotions, for example cry, endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released in the brain and facilitate a decrease of tension.
3. To take actions: Taking time to meditate, go for a short walk around the block, spend time with your family or catch up on things left behind. Work in the garden, no matter where in nature, know that it has a way to soothe the mind and calm the feelings.
4. To ‘See’ – Skype – a professional: If you haven’t already done so, make an appointment for a consultation with a mental health professional. It might be an unpleasant task, but one that can lead to clarity, understanding, relief, and many positive learnings and results.
5. To write things down: Keeping a journal, where you can express how you feel and think, is tremendously helpful. It will serve as a form of catharsis (release of trapped or blocked energy). More so, accumulating evidence suggests that journaling can help you sort through a scope of emotions. Dr James W. Pennebaker’s studies show that when people write about meaningful or traumatic events, they improve on 2 things: (a) their health (b) their biological indicators for stress.