Some of the major issues around economic anxiety are uncertainty and worry about the future, and the strategies below will address those specifically. Click here for more on Coping with Anxiety.
1. Make a Plan
One of the most difficult parts of economic anxiety is that there is uncertainty about how the market or your personal finances will work over time. One of the best strategies to combat this is to make a plan. It may seem easy enough, but working out your budget on paper (if you don’t already do this) and creating a “plan B” in case there is an employment disruption, change in the market, or emergency that requires significant funds, can go a long way to ease worry. Let your anxiety fuel you to create some structure around finances, and you will now have something ready to go in case there are some troubles ahead.
2. Remember What Is Really Important
When economic hard times hit individuals, families, and countries, there can be widespread anxiety and panic about being able to meet basic living needs. The standard of living in the United States is the highest that the world has ever seen, and it may be helpful to know that cross-cultural studies of happiness reveal that quality of relationships, family life, and health rank higher than economics in determining life satisfaction. In hard times, it can be important to focus on the people in your life, and remember about what contributes more to your life.
3. Stay in the Present
Worrying about the economic future is something that economists do well, although their ability to actually predict what will happen is not as strong. When people with GAD worry about the future their personal finances are often a source of stress. Being able to stay connected to the present and living mindfully can be a major anxiety reliever. When you find yourself going toward the future make a plan, and then remember that you are alive on the Earth right now. Being engaged in your current activities is a great way to live a full and satisfying life, but also to push aside worry for days that are not yet lived. Click here to read more on Mindfulness & GAD.