Victim of Financial Trauma?

Financial Trauma is repetitive financial stress. Just when you start to relax and think things are going to be ok - blam - the market boomerangs once again. The small American investor, saving for retirement gets frightened and reactive. Three weeks of super volatility and Monday  the Dow fell more than 600 points. Ow... No wonder we're feeling traumatized.

We equate money with security. Most of us hard-working Americans have been placing money into 401 (k)'s for years to supplement retirement social security. Retirement, a far away, but magical place where we're able to relax, unwind, travel, hang out with friends, and have extra to enjoy life after we pay our bills seems further and further away because of the market ups and downs that is symptomatic of economic chaos.

Dr.Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist at University of Alabama in Birmingham says he likens the economic climate to a natural disaster. It takes time and healing to get over a natural disaster and an economic one. (Financial Stress: Investors Experience Emotional Fallout - ABCNEWS 8-25-11)

Financial trauma includes market losses, job loss, downsizing, long-term unemployment, short-sales, foreclosures. These are big impact items in Americans lives.

There's no easy fix, but some things to consider: If you're feeling scared, it's not the time to make big economic decisions. Take a breath - no, that alone won't make everything better. But stress, especially chronic stress, hijacks the thinking brain. If you take 10 -20 breaths every time you feel anxious it begins to re-train the brain and your body to relax. Think about the worse case scenario - if I lose my house, my job, fill in the blank, can I live with that? What are my options? Who can I turn to? What agencies are out there I can get help from?  Remember you're not alone. Lots of folks in the world are afraid because there's so much uncertainty.

Our economic world is in the midst of enormous change. All change processes start with an ending. The ending for America was 2008 when the economic abuses of the financial industry (& our addiction to easy-money & debt)  hit the fan. Like any addictive process, what goes up must come down. The hardest part of a change cycle is the chaotic middle zone and that's where we're at. But at some point, there will be a new beginning. It's up to us what that will look like.