How to manage financial overwhelm?

November 8, 2021

Our brains are wired to protect us, so when we feel in danger, our fight-or-flight mode kicks in. American physiologist Walter Cannon discovered that a series of physical and mental reactions occur in the body to help us deal with threatening situations.

Years ago, a threat would be a tiger trying to eat us for example and the pumping adrenaline would help us handle the situation. But in the modern world, anything from family issues to too many emails in your work inbox can cause this chain reaction.

A study by the Mental Health Foundations in 2018 found that ‘“74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope“.

Financial overwhelm is personal to you and can be anything from the burden of debt, to worrying whether you can afford to pay your bills, general concerns around money management, to fear around your retirement plan.

There is a clear link between money and our mental health – you can check out this blog on that  The link between money and mental health (amifinancialsolutions.com) and the best thing to do is acknowledge how you feel and do the things that help you move away from these feelings.

Here are 8 top tips on how to manage and avoid financial overwhelm:

  1. Assess what is making you feel this way – Identifying the triggers because it is only when you know and understand the problems that you can plan to make positive changes
  2. Be honest with yourself  – Sometimes we actually are the ones causing our own issues (or making them worse) and this can be painful to explore and admit, but burying your head in the sand, and pretending the issues are not there will only make it worse
  3. Remember that nothing is unfixable – Our brains like to catastrophise situations thinking of the worst possible outcomes – not helpful! Please know that no matter what situation you are in, there will be a solution for you
  4. Create a realistic plan – Think about the practical solution to fixing the problem e.g., a debt management plan to clear debt, or a monthly budget to help you manage your money better. When you know what is causing your financial overwhelm, you can break it down into small steps
  5. Reduce your overall stress – What will help manage your overall mental health? Find de-stressing activities e.g. exercise, seeing a friend, painting etc. to reduce your stress and help you think clearer!
  6. Take it one day at a time – Rome was not built in a day! A method created by Dave Brailsford (head coach of the British cycling team) called ‘marginal gains’  is the concept that if you make small but consistent changes every day, over time they will add up to a significant improvement
  7. Track your progress – There is nothing more motivating then looking back over time and seeing all the improvements you are making, so make sure you keep note of your progression!

Ask for help – Sometimes we need extra help and there is absolutely no shame in that. There are professionals out there for a reason! Reach out to someone you trust like a family member or a friend or get in touch with us on 0141 848 6353 to chat, or email at support@amifinancialsolutions.com

Blog by Laura Moore. Check out more of her blogs at https://www.lauraannmoore.co.uk/