Money is a central element in our lives, but it should not be what you should worry about. There are many more important things to worry about. Money isn’t everything, although everything revolves around money. The problem is that money is the biggest thing we worry about in our everyday life. It is an issue that needs to be addressed. For many, money is a problem but worrying about money can be a bigger problem.
Regardless of your wealth, age, and social standing, there is no other better time than now to review your finances and your relationship with your hard-earned money. You need to stop it from troubling you when you are trying to sleep.
What is Worry?
It’s nothing more than thoughts that we believe in. When we believe in a thought, we start to act as if it is true. We perceive the world differently because of our thoughts. That is why some rich people can still feel poor. The reverse is also true.
So worry does not come from anything other than our own thoughts and beliefs. We tell ourselves that we have financial problems and we need to worry about it. If not, we will become homeless.
First off, why do we worry in the first place? That’s because we think it is beneficial or the right thing to do. We “think” that it is important, not because it is important. We believe that we have to worry. We think that we need to worry to survive.
Everything starts with making a conscious choice to get yourself out of the said hole.
Why Stop Worrying About Money?
Okay, so we know why we worry in the first place. But why should we stop? What are the problems with worrying? A lot more than you imagine:
It is a waste of time
First of all, worrying about money, or anything, doesn’t yield any results. At least, not positive wants. You can sit around your home all day and worry about your financial situation, but you will not make a single penny. In fact, you stand to lose more money because you just lost time that you could have spent on doing productive things that actually change your financial situation for the better.
It robs your sleep
Going over your finances late at night means having fewer hours of sleep and destroys your performance the next day. Doctors recommend having 7 to 8 hours of sleep. A lack of sleep is detrimental to our health. Even though you may “feel” fine when you only have 6 or fewer hours of sleep with some triple-shot espresso, I guarantee you that your entire body will break down eventually and you’ll regret not having enough sleep. Plus, when you don’t have enough sleep, it gets even easier to overthink and worry, which would send you down a vicious cycle.
So, get enough sleep. No excuses.
It leads to behavioral issues
Worrying too much can lead to different behavioral issues. It causes stress and some people cope with it by turning to the bottle, over or undereating. Some withdraw from social situations so they can dwell on their unfortunate circumstance as if they are so far gone that their situation is unsalvageable.
If you isolate yourself because of money issues, then you put yourself in a very dangerous situation. Give yourself a break and tell yourself that it is not the end of the world yet. Understanding the harmful effects of over-worrying is important to your mental health.
I won’t bore you with any more facts regarding worrying, because there is a cure. It is action. So, what are the things you can do to stop worrying?
5 Steps on How to Stop Worrying About Money
Thankfully, there are many approaches to address money worries. It all boils down to accessing and changing the way you think, plan, and act. You can stop worrying about money problems by using the strategies below:
Change the way you think
Before you can change your actions, change the way you think. Thoughts lead to actions, after all. First of all, understand that money won’t resolve your issues. Winning the national lottery won’t mean that you will have the perfect life free from worry. Even if you suddenly get a lot of money, you are still the same person with the same fears and worries, if not more.
So the first thing to do is to take control of your own thoughts and stop letting outside elements such as money pollute your mind. Again, the problem isn’t the money or lack thereof itself, but rather how you react to it. The belief you have about your situation changes your view on the situation.
I understand that you have bills to pay, food to buy, among other things that you believe you should worry about. Now, those are the things you certainly should care about, but not worry to the point that you flinch at the thought and are unable to do anything about it.
Taking control of your own thoughts here means taking action rather than worrying yourself to death.
Keep in mind that what you think may not be the reality of the situation.
By changing the way you think, you adopt a more realistic and optimistic attitude about your situation. This compels you to tackle problems calmly and energetically.
Learn to calm your mind with mindfulness. Meditation and mantra are effective tools to calm your mind when you become worried. It keeps you focused on the things that matter. If you are a religious person, you can pray for the peace of mind. But meditation is just as effective.
For the mantra, you can tell yourself that worrying changes nothing, or you can overcome this, or “breathe”.
Meditation should be part of your morning and night routine to help your mind and body transition from a relaxed state to an alert state or vice versa. I know it sounds superficial, but it works for many people. A quick Google search will prove that.
What you are doing here is clearing your mind and finding peace by letting go of any fear and worries. It takes time to develop mindfulness because one does not simply clear their heads from thoughts. All of us are so used to having an infinite train of thoughts running through our head that stopping the train feels alien to us. In fact, you can try it now. Try not to think about anything for 60 seconds. It’s a lot harder than it seems.
When you have that train of thoughts running constantly, you will put a lot of stress on your mind. So spare a few minutes of your time to just slow down and relax. With mindfulness, you can notice when you start to worry and you can stop yourself from going into that vicious cycle again.
Other than that, you can meditate on the worst-case scenario. What would happen if the absolute worst thing in a given situation does occur? It sounds counterproductive, but hear me out. Many of us become worried and anxious not because of the worst that could happen. More often than not, it’s just the fear of the unknown. When you make the unknown known, you know how to cope with it. That way, no matter what the outcome is, you can easily move on.
Another thing you could do is to live in the present, which is what being mindful is all about. Take one day at a time and address one traction at a time. Of course, being aware of your future financial dealing is important, but when you address problems one step at a time, you have nothing to worry about.
The things you do today help your situation tomorrow.
In doing so, you leave no room for anxiety, paranoia, and overthinking no room for growth.
Voice your fears
You acknowledge the problem by expressing your fears either by writing it down or talking about it. When you acknowledge the existence of the problem, you can start to act. Just like worrying, ignoring the problem isn’t going to make it go away. Sweeping it under the rug won’t make your money worries disappear, so acknowledge that there is something wrong and then work to solve the problem.
Make a plan
Another way to combat the unknown is to have a plan or a course of action. In this case, you need to determine how much money you want to make and how much you can actually make. Be specific. Have an exact figure and stick to it. If you cannot make enough, what are your options to make more money? Having a side hustle as a freelancer? Be an Uber driver? Renting your place out on Airbnb?
I should also point out that, in reality, we need very little to live a happy life. It sounds superficial, but humanity doesn’t survive this far because we were gifted with abundance. We all started out just like the animals and we lived in scarcity until recently. In this day and age, you think that you need a lot more to live, but there are certain things you can cut out of your life if you look hard enough. Coffee for one can be removed. Maybe you can eat out less and learn to cook at home.
As I’ve pointed out earlier, the best cure to worry is action. If you are worried about money, do something about it. Ask yourself what can you do, not what you should do. List down all the options available. It doesn’t matter if the idea is impossible or silly. Just write everything down before you deliberate over each option. That is when you ask what you should do.
Then you act and act promptly to change your money situation. Everything thus far is all about preparing your mind and body for action. Now is the time to act. There are a few places to start changing your financial situation:
- Debts: Taking loans is the cheapest way to buy expensive stuff, but it ultimately leads you to pay off more than the actual price if you paid for the full price upfront. Avoid taking loans. For the existing debts, work toward paying them off. Make it your top priority because their interests compromise your financial situation greatly. When you’re debt-free, you won’t see the creditors breathing down your neck again and you won’t feel the pressure from money as much.
- Investments: Having some reserves on the side gives you that peace of mind. I’m not talking about having money in the bank. Things can go wrong and money can lose its value. I understand that this is a bit controversial, but have some other form of liquid investment. No, not water. I’m talking about gold coins or jewelry. Money can lose its value, but gold is more resilient in the face of an economic downturn. Make sure you can access them easily.
- Build income: Put all your skills to good use. No matter what skills you have, there is always a market for it. The problem is to find the buyer. Becoming a freelancer is a great place to start as many Americans do this to earn additional income. I recommend checking out Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.
- Manage your money: I’ve already covered this in the previous article. It’s about saving money. Spend wisely and you won’t ever have to experience that mini heart attack when the number is too low then you’re comfortable with.
Many of us spend too much time worrying about money without doing anything about it. It is true that the problem must be acknowledged, but only a few people do something about it. So, instead of letting worry rob you of energy, time, and more money, address your psyche, access your situation, plan, then act.