Sunday, September 28, 2008

Monday's Tip - How to Manage the Stress of the Financial Crisis

Managing the worry associated with uncertainty it is critical for us to function as individuals and as a nation. So let’s take a look at two kinds of worry that come with uncertainty - productive and unproductive. Productive worry is worrying about situations that you can control. You can use productive worry to take actions that will reduce stress and anxiety. Unproductive worry is worrying about things that can’t be controlled. The problem with unproductive worry is that it doesn’t help you accomplish things, and it really only adds stress to the mind and body.  So what can you do when you find yourself worrying about things you can't control? 

You need to shift gears and take action…

1. So if that’s making a budget, meeting with an accountant, trading in your car for a more fuel efficient vehicle, carpooling- anything that begins to attack the situation can help reduce stress.

2. Don’t saturate yourself with stressful information. Stay informed but take a news break- most people don’t need to track the stock market minute by minute…

3. Don’t let the rest of your life dwindle away.  Make sure you are paying attention to daily activities- family, friends, social, and recreation.

 4. Finally- you need to remember that stress has a physical impact. Sometimes the easiest way to reduce stress is to work on the physical part. Learning meditation, progressive muscle relaxation are all important. But the simplest thing you can do is to pay attention to your stress levels throughout the day- every hour if possible, take a minute to breathe slowly and deeply. This will prevent the stress response from getting out of control. These are very uncertain times, and not having control can be unsettling, but if you take action on what you can control, you can turn unproductive worry into productive, healthy actions.

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