Which camp are you in? Are you the stress-hardy type when dealing with money problems or are you the reactive, crisis-oriented type who lets money worries and financial challenges routinely kick you in the proverbial backside?
Salvatore Maddi, co-author of Resilience at Work: How To Succeed No Matter What Life Throws at You, claims, “The most productive approach to dealing with the stressful circumstances of life is to throw oneself into the courageous and difficult process of turning the stresses from potential disasters into growth opportunities instead.”
After six years of studying and testing dozens of stress management strategies and techniques, I can say that nothing is truer than this statement. Maddi and his research partner, Deborah Khoshaba, determined there are two types of people in this complicated world; those who are stress hardy and those who are not. If you are in the first camp, you feel energized by stressful situations and if you are not, then stressful situations will drain you like a sink.
How perplexing this seems to be, but in reality, stress carries an erroneous reputation. Most people think all stress is distress or bad stress and few people understand the dynamics of the polar opposite of bad stress, known as eustress, which is very good stress. It seems strange to think that we can be empowered by stress, but this is truer than true.
Getting back to our two groups of people, it seems the people in the first group have found a way to leverage eustress and the second group seems devoid of this ability. In the case of dealing effectively with complicated money problems and becoming torn apart by financial stress, it is critical to try to get into the first camp as quickly as possible because the global economic crisis will likely get worse before it gets better.
Michael Kahn, author of Mastering the CEO’s Greatest Challenge: Strategies for Staying Cool in the Executive Hot Seat, groups these tools this way. First is the hardiness for hard times mindset, which allows one to jump in with both feet and meet a challenge head on. Second is a willingness and ability to self-regulate the body. The members of group one consciously choose to pay attention and attend to the needs of the body, which constantly gives us very clear warning signals of problems. Third, is a skill-building approach to self-improvement, meaning these people are life-long learners and they apply what they learn to their own lives. Last of the four tools is a willingness to pay attention one’s own limitations and address these issues as they present themselves. The best stress managers seem to recognize they are less than perfect. Do you have the willingness to try to develop the skills needed to be able to add these tools to your stress management tool box?
It’s no secret that money problems are omnipresent in the lives of just about everyone. Below is a list of some of the top issues when it comes to money problems:
So what is a person to do?!? Do you just sit and stew in your financial chaos?
This whole website is dedicated to teaching people stress management, and like any other stressor, it is possible to learn techniques to help you change how you react or respond to financial stress and money problems.
You can learn Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to find better ways of coping with financial stress or you can try any one of the many other stress management therapies explained on this site in an attempt to make peace with your financial situation. Each stress management strategy will go a long way to helping you adjust to your financial stressors, but none of them will make stress go away completely.
No matter how good you are at managing financial stress, you will not change your money problems without action. All of the issues listed above are very real and need a solution.
Like any cause of stress, financial stress can only hold power over you if you let it. You may read this and say that the whole thing is not so simple, but it really is very easy, especially if you have the four stress-hardiness skills at your disposal. In fact, many people have more than solved the problem just by choosing to leverage stress so that it is energizing instead of draining.
We hear and read all kinds of news reports these days about foreclosures and layoffs and impending doom and economic catastrophe. It's all true, very true. But how does the global financial crisis connect with your personal situation?
The reality is that personal debt has been growing and personal savings have been dropping for 25 years; none of this is new. In the financial heydays of the 1990s and early 2000’s, people had just as many financial problems as they do today.
Personal money problems have very little to do with the rest of the world. Debt is a choice; choosing not to balance your bank book is a choice; buying a $5.00 coffee each day instead of making your own at home is a choice; having a low-paying job is a choice, not going to school to secure a high paying job is a choice and living in a rural area where there are no jobs is a choice. I think you get the point.
I don’t know about you, but I was tired of having endless money problems, so I made a choice not to have them anymore and you can too! I started with EFT and changed how I felt about money. I realized I carried a lot of baggage with me that I had picked up as a child about my “right” to have money. I guess when you are very poor as a child; that can happen.
After many stops along the way, I finally made peace with money and I began creating systems that lead to success. After all is said and done, I wouldn’t change the journey for all the money in the world and I can honestly say I now live full-time in group one. I have a stress-hardy personality with regards to money problems and all types of problems and I find stress to be empowering and energizing. I hope you will as well soon.