How To Handle The Stress of a Financial CrisisRemain Calm
When we feel threatened, our fight or flight response — the body’s stress response — kicks in and makes changes in the body. The heart rate quickens, stress hormones like cortisol are released, and a host of other changes occur that allow the body a quick burst of energy to run away fast or stay and fight — strategies that have worked for thousands of years, but aren’t always practical now. While that jolt of energy and alertness can inspire you to act, if your body remains in this state for long periods of time (as in the case of chronic stress), it can be damaging to your health in many ways. That’s why it’s important to have some stress relief strategies that can be used in a variety of situations, to calm your body’s stress response so you can think clearly and stay healthier. Then you can work on solutions.
There are a few "all purpose" stress relief strategies that can work well here.:
- Breathing Exercises
Breathing works well because it can be done anytime and anywhere. People don’t have to know you’re even doing it, but focusing on your breathing can help you calm your body and soothe tense emotions within a few short minutes.
Progressive muscle relaxation is another fast-acting stress reliever that I really love to recommend because it’s simple, free and can be done just about anywhere. Again, it can calm your body’s stress response so you don’t remain in a state of chronic stress.
For those who are really stressed and need to feel that they’re doing something, journaling about stressful emotions can help get them out of your head so you don’t end up ruminating on what stresses you. Be sure to end your journaling session with some brainstorming on solutions, and you’ll get a better sense of control over the situation, and a more positive attitude.
For more solutions for dealing with a financial crisis, see page 2 of this feature.