Forces beyond your control

It’s important to put what’s happening into perspective.

“There is a need to monitor what's happening in the economy, and be aware of that,” says Ed Coambs, a couples therapist specializing in financial therapy based in North Carolina. “But sometimes there are forces that are just out of our control directly.”

That includes the changes in the housing market, inflation, and a possible recession.

“It comes back to ‘what is within our control that we can work on?’”

One of the most helpful things to do, says Bentley, is to accept that.

“Acceptance doesn't mean we like what is happening, it means we understand that it is the current reality, which frees us up to then consider how we can cope with it,” she says. “To practice acceptance is to let go of bargaining or denial perspectives and embrace the current situation for what it is.”

Simply add Capital One Shopping to your browser, and shop like normal. This free tool does the work for you.

Install Capital One Shopping

Acknowledge that you’re anxious

Knowing what you can and can’t control is a big part of the battle, says Coambs, and recognizing that you’re struggling with some financial anxiety will allow you to begin to deal with it.

“That awareness often starts that process of asking deeper questions about ‘well, where does that come from?’

Many people who get overly anxious at times like these already struggle with some form of financial stress in their day to day, says Coambs.

“It's trying to help them sort of connect with what they can control and influence around money.”

Take stock of your finances

One of the most helpful tools Coambs uses with his clients is having them organize their finances to understand where they are at.

Try tracking your expenses and spending, and not just imagining how much is coming in and going out.

“Getting that financial clarity is important for knowing ‘where are my resources, what do I have?’

“And for some people, they ultimately recognize they're actually in a better spot than they thought they were,” says Coambs.

And when you lay out your finances you can see what steps you need to take to keep yourself in a good position.

“Cut expenses and work towards saving more where you can,” says Bentley. “These small changes can feel empowering.”

Sign up for Credit Sesame and see everything your credit score can do for you, find the best interest rates, and save more money at every step of the way.

Get Started—100% Free

Recognize how anxiety affects you

Acknowledge where you’re feeling your anxiety physically, says Coambs.

“So taking that out of your head and recognizing, feeling that sensation, whether it's tension in your chest, or your neck, or in your shoulders, in your gut – it can show a lot of places in our body,” he says.

Then imagine a time you’ve been successful with your money, when you’ve made good financial decisions and Coambs says more often than not, as you remember your successes, the anxiety will begin to dissipate.

“Because that's another big part of anxiety, it’s often telling people, ‘you're not capable, you're not smart enough, you're not clever enough, you're not good enough’.

“And that in most cases is not true. In most cases, people are far more resourceful than they give themselves credit for. So helping them connect with their resourcefulness is a huge win.”

Don’t make any sudden movements

With rising interest rates, you might feel pressure to buy a house faster, or maybe sell some stocks before they fall even further. But instead, take a step back, says Victor Ricciardi, an instructor in the finance faculty at Tennessee Tech University, who specializes in behavioral finance. He also wrote a book called Financial Behavior.

“We're driven by that emotional response,” says Ricciardi. “And that fear really focuses more on our short term thinking, rather than our long term thinking.”

Stress and anxiety impact your ability to make good decisions, says Ricciardi. He says it’s important to keep the long term in mind during times of uncertainty, and remember your goals and your financial plan of action that hopefully you made during better times with a clear head.

“And a plan of action would say that you want to be rational, you want to have a non-emotional strategy.”

Ricciardi says in many ways that may mean doing nothing but continuing with the plan you already made. If you don’t have a plan, now might be a good time to meet with your adviser and make one.

“Not making decisions in a high emotional time is important.”

Here's how to save up to $700/year off your car insurance in minutes

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.

It’s true. You could be paying way less for the same coverage. All you need to do is look for it.

And if you look through an online marketplace called SmartFinancial you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year.

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

About the Author

Lauren Bird

Lauren Bird

Staff Reporter

Lauren Bird is a reporter for Moneywise.com. Before writing about personal finance Lauren reported and produced for CBC and BBC Radio. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic.

What to Read Next

Disclaimer

The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.