Managing Money Stress

Money is often one of the great stressors in our lives. It can be a contributing factor to , , or conflict. Over a lifetime, the relationship that we have with money may change as income, people, and other life circumstances change too. Perhaps the constant amongst it all is that some kind of relationship with money is necessary, but the nature of our relationship with money is not necessarily one that we chose completely on our own. Our relationship with money has likely been influenced by factors like:

  • Family and significant others – how they relate to money

  • Comparison – to friends, social media, etc.

  • Society – what it tells us about money

  • Money history – what we have experienced so far in life

Strategies that can help improve stress around money

Getting an idea of what may be influencing our relationship with money could be helpful if we are aiming to improve the relationship. With enhanced knowing about our relationship with money, we could then take other steps that may help us manage stress and lean into a more desirable money relationship.

Checking the Mindset

Our money mindset can significantly influence the overall relationship that we have with money. Our mindset has likely been influenced by one, or several, of those factors we just mentioned – family, partners, friends, society…. For example, these influences could have us believing that we should own a house because that is what our friends are doing, or that once we double our income, then we can stop thinking about money and will be truly happy.

For a lot of people, a money mindset revolves around the idea of having enough. Our minds are good at taking us into the future, and they’re also good at keeping us wanting more. But when is it enough? Constant striving can cause suffering. Shifting our mindset around money may involve reworking currently held beliefs of not having enough to believing that what we have right now is enough. Assuming our basic needs are met (food, water, shelter, etc.), can we embrace right now as enough?

Practices that may help us lean into a mindset of enough could include:

· Mindfulness, to increase awareness about existing beliefs that may present obstacles

· Challenging unhelpful beliefs, so we may aim to replace them

· Gratitude, for what we have right now and where we may have been

· Self-compassion, as we do our best to manage our money and relate to it well

Practicing Generosity

When our mindset about money tells us that we don’t have enough, it can be hard to be generous. Perhaps you can recall uncomfortable reactions you’ve had in response to situations involving money (like paying the dinner bill with fiends), such as tightness or constriction within the body, racing thoughts of worry, or an urge to withhold or withdraw from activities and people. Yet, if we practice being generous, we can give ourselves opportunities to challenge those reactions and potentially have positive experiences. Acts of generosity can present an opportunity to loosen the grip on fear-based thoughts and behaviors about money.

Being generous could be with money, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. We can be generous with our time, energy, expertise, or attention for example. Telling a friend that you have time to listen to them, or energy to help them move, or are interested in how their new job is going are examples of how we could be generous with things other than money.

Goals & Accountability

We can also manage money stress by getting down to it – knowing the truth about what we have, setting goals, and staying accountable.

To begin, it’s likely necessary to know what we have, despite the related acts may cause – like checking our bank account or debt, for example. Yet, it could also be an opportunity to practice relaxation skills and reframe our beliefs about these types of acts. For example, we could practice diaphragmatic breathing before checking our bank statement and invite a sense of gratitude for the money that we do have. With practice, checking-in about what we have may not be so distressing.

When we know what we have, we can set goals. Knowing what matters to us in life can help inform our goals – where do we want our money to go based on what is important to us? How can we spend and save in a way that will make us proud?

After we set goals, check-in. Consider a way to uphold accountability. We could call upon a friend or family member to check-in with us, or set goals in . Steps such as these can help challenge our desire to avoid, which can help ease anxiety and stress over time.

May We Know that We are Enough

..Intelligent enough

..Creative enough

..Working enough

..Caring enough

Let’s Grow

We can learn to manage our stress around money by adopting a helpful mindset, taking steps toward relaxing around the stressor, and engaging in behaviors that support our goals and values. If you would like support easing money stress, reach out for a free 15-minute informational consultation. I want to support my clients on their journey.

Request A Consultation

Disclaimer: Please note that visiting this website does not constitute a doctor-client therapeutic relationship. The information and resources included or linked on this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to assess, diagnose, or treat any medical and/or mental health disease or condition. The information obtained from this site should not be considered a substitute for a thorough medical and/or mental health evaluation by an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional. We do not know the specifics of your situation or have the facts to provide this type of evaluation and recommend that you seek an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional to establish a doctor-client therapeutic relationship. This website also includes links to other websites for informational and reference purposes only. This website does not endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services or information described or offered at these other websites.


You may also like