Tax day is looming and a lot of people are feeling stressed about money right now. Unfortunately, a lot of us also feel stressed about money throughout the rest of the year, too, not just at tax time.
Money is a major source of stress for many people. In fact, a 2009 poll by Reader’s Digest found that money is the biggest source of worry for people around the world. According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated stress can significantly impact your health, causing problems from chronic headaches and irritability, to contributing to woes like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
The single most important thing you can do to reduce money stress is to take control of your finances. While this is often not an easy task – especially if you’ve felt out of control for a while – the effort is well worth it. You’ll likely start feeling better quickly, as taking action can make you feel empowered. Once you’ve achieved your goal, you’ll see your financial situation improve as you regulate spending and increase your savings.
Not sure where to start? You can find plenty of guidance online for ways to take control of your finances – everything from creating and sticking to a monthly budget, to creating an emergency fund.
While you’re working toward regaining control of your finances, practice stress reduction techniques. Many people find physical activity helps them relieve stress. Whether you opt for yoga, swimming, walking, running or some other physical outlet, exercise not only helps relieve stress, it can make you healthier and result in you feeling better overall.
Finally, forgiving yourself is also an important step toward reducing money stress. We all make mistakes, and if yours have left you struggling with debt and financial worries, it’s time to learn the lesson and move on. Regrets take up energy that would be better invested in action.