Volatile markets make people jittery. According to AARP magazine 76% of boomers are worried about money. When people make fear-based decisions, they are usually poor decisions. So how can you calm down and make sound financial choices in turbulent times? Here are 5 money stress-busting strategies:
- Turn off the TV and stop checking your computer. The financial media makes money by selling ads. The more dramatic the news, the more audiences tune in. If you watch long enough you will see there are a variety of opinions and suggestions as to what to do – often conflicting. Information and knowledge are good, but too much will make you crazy. Just as we want to limit our kids’ time texting, using Facebook or watching TV – we need to limit our own time absorbing financial news. A little bit is fine – too much is dangerous to your health as well as your wealth.
- Exercise. One of the best ways to reduce stress of any kind it to exercise. You will oxygenate your brain and improve your health. Exercise helps to decrease anxiety and boost blood circulation to your brain. Being physically fit may indeed help you to be fiscally fit.
- Focus on what you are grateful for. When you put your attention on what is working in your life you ease some of your suffering around what isn’t working well. There is always something we can find to be grateful for, whether it is your health, people in your life or the beauty in nature. For many this reduces their stress levels and helps to put financial issues in perspective.
- Have more sex. According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, recent animal studies have shown that sexual experiences daily over two weeks reduced cortisol release (a stress hormone that affects the brain’s ability to deal with anxiety). Maybe the answer to market volatility can be found in your bedroom.
- Check-in on your plan. Often the worry about the financial impact of the economy is worse than the reality. People sometimes avoid looking at their financial plan because they think their worst fears will be realized. A reality check can help you to feel more in control. Knowing the steps you need to take to reach your goals will help ensure you actually accomplish them.