Five Ways to Ease Your Fears about Money

At least 80% of all ailments are caused or worsened by anxiety. Practice these methods to ease your fears, calm your mind, improve your health, and stimulate more creative problem-solving.

Choose Your Thoughts

“If you hang around the pigpen, you’re going to get dirty”. Our feelings arise from the thoughts we think most often. If you’re thinking thoughts of success and gratitude, you’ll give more attention to things in your life that contribute to feeling successful and grateful. If you’re focused on worries of failure and unworthiness, you’ll notice mostly those experiences.

It may not come easily to “think positive”, but it’s worth the effort because moving your mind in more positive directions can really transform your life.

Start off easy by noticing something you appreciate  the beauty of nature, a friend’s smile, a piece of music. The possibilities are endless. Find what works for you. Even if you find the whole world depressing, look for just one thing which seems unspoiled and innocent  a child’s laughter perhaps, or moonlight. When you find it, really notice it. Let all of your senses take in and be nourished by the image (or memory) of this bit of goodness or beauty for several minutes, until you notice your body and breath relaxing or new feelings arising. Enjoy this choice you made to focus on something good. Practice frequently to expand your results.

Ignore the News

News media go to great lengths to bring us the worst news from 7 billion people around the globe. It scares people into consuming the media even though we are powerless to affect the vast majority of that bad news.

Yet in our own circle of friends, neighbors, and relatives, catastrophes are rare. Much more commonly hugs are given, gardens are tended, and good meals are served. Our nervous systems were designed to take in that good, along with the rare bad thing which, when it happens to someone we know, we may actually be able to do something about.

We don’t need to take so seriously everything produced by an industry whose motto is “if it bleeds, it leads”. When you need a positive frame of mind to solve your own problems, you may not want to consume a daily diet of mostly negative national and international news.

Give What You Have

Have you ever received an unexpected, warm smile from a stranger? It brightened your day a little, didn’t it? The suggestion here is to take the focus off your worries and turn your attention to ways of giving to others.

Need some suggestions? Warmly thank anyone providing you a service; compliment strangers on their yard, their dog, their car, or their children; volunteer to help someone with no expectation of a return favor.

Get creative with your giving. You’ll probably soon find your mood lighter and your fears less compelling.

Seek the Quiet Within

When we are fearful, we are not good at solving money problems, so it is very important to learn to let go of fear and regain our ability to think clearly. That’s a prime purpose of meditation. It is found in many forms, from many traditions, both secular and religious. When practiced regularly, it is proven to calm mind and body and to open a person to greater inspiration and intuition. Meditators all have stories of breakthroughs, “coincidences”, and mysterious miracles that happen when they maintain a regular practice.

In my family we joke about how many times, after searching for hours, we’ve found lost items right after sitting down for a couple minutes of quiet meditation. You can access this power, by whatever name you like to call it, to help you find what’s important to you.

Guidance for learning meditation can be found online and in books, religious teachings, spiritual paths, or from my free eBook.

Take Action

If practiced regularly, the above suggestions will help reduce your fears and create a more fertile ground for creative problem-solving, but appropriate action is also needed. Otherwise you will likely still be fearful about the consequences of your inaction.

So brainstorm regularly with trusted friends or advisors. Write down the next best steps to solve your dilemmas. What do you need? A better job? A tighter budget? More customers? Make decisions about what you can do now and what tomorrow.

Then get to work. If you take the best action you can each day, with the calmest mind and body you can manage, your circumstances will soon improve, and you’ll get the good night’s sleep you need and deserve.

Your comments, questions, and stories are welcome below. I will respond.

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Paul Chubbuck is a practicing psychotherapist in Fort Collins, CO, using Somatic Experiencing to help people release trauma, abuse, and loss. He may be reached at 970-493-2958 or through his website at www.releasingthepast.com.

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