By Melanie Hasty-Grant
With all the talk of recent and pending layoffs here in Green Country, money stress is hitting a feverish pitch. Money stress affects folks’ health, the way they see the world, and the way they treat others. We often deal with clients in some of the most financially stressful times of their life. When clients have lost a parent or a spouse, when they have lost their job, when they are going through a divorce, they are usually coping with a whole host of feelings including fear, sadness, and anger.
These intense emotions, along with the unknown future, cause much stress. Folks handle these feelings and stressors in a multitude of ways, but generally it is expressed in either tears, anger outbursts, or avoidance.
Being present and patient with folks as they walk through this journey is an important part of what we do. It’s an important part of what we all need to do for others. It can be a scary, cruel world out there. And unfortunately, money is a big part of it.
The American Psychological Association conducts a study every year on the Stress in America. “While aspects of the U.S. economy have improved, money continues to be a top cause of stress for Americans. Regardless of the economic climate, money and finances have remained the top stressor since our survey began in 2007.” The study, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of APA, reported that among 3,068 adults in August of 2014, 72 percent reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time during the past month. Twenty-two percent said that they
experienced extreme stress about money during the past month.
For the majority of Americans (64 percent), money is a somewhat or very significant source of stress, but especially for parents and younger adults (77 percent of parents, 75 percent of millennials, and 76 percent of Gen Xers). In addition, stress about money and finances appears to have a significant impact of many Americans’ lives. One in five Americans reported putting off health care needs because of financial worries. Almost one third of adults with partners (31 percent) report that money is a major source of conflict in their relationship.
The good news is that there are things you can do to “manage” your stress. The first is to ask for emotional support from family and friends. Those who have emotional support report better outcomes that those who don’t. Most folks are so wrapped up in their own world that they may not recognize that you are in distress. So, don’t be afraid to ask for support. The greater part of the time people want to be there for you, they may just not have noticed that you needed it.
The second strategy that works is to get out and move your body. Exercise! This releases endorphins, raises your metabolism and pushes out the bad stuff. It actually helps remedy some of the negative effects of stress on your body and makes you feel better. When it comes to financial stress, it helps to develop a plan. You may need a plan A, B, and C.
This financial plan should include your budget, your potential resources, and your professional support system. The next time you are going through a transition in your work, in your marriage, or with a parent who has passed away, and you are stressed, remember that we are here to help. We’ve got your back and we know what to do.
For more information go to www.waterstonewealth.com or call 918-272-1120.
Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Member FINRA, SIPC.