The American public is caught is a storm of financial fear. Who can blame them? The cost of living is up, home prices down, unemployment hovers at about 12% for the country, but here in the Central Valley nearly 18%. Many are working 2 or 3 jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over head. I heard the term Post Financial Stress Disorder (sorry, don't have author's name) and think it's a perfect fit for the severe economic trauma that so many have experienced.
Financial stress like any other stress can become toxic. Dr. Pamela Peeke, National Institute of Health researcher and author of Fight Fat After 40, says toxic stress is unrelenting, chronic stress that begins to affect all parts of the body-mind and, especially for women, causes belly-fat weight gain. (That's another subject). I just talked to a woman client yesterday who lost her financial lifestyle 4 years ago. She doesn't sleep well, has heart palpitations, body aches, is extremely anxious and depressed. That's the story for millions of Americans.
How do we solve the financial stress problem? There's no quick-fix solution here. One thing though is to let go of guilt and shame about where you're at. Yes, part of it is your responsibility and part of it is a big societal challenge around the division of wealth. According to David DeGraw (The Richest 1% article) America had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world before 2008 and it's worse now.
For daily stress management self-care is essential. Though it may sound simplistic, there's strong research to support, deep belly breathing as a way to lesson the effects of stress. I've been teaching stress management for 20 years and am known as "The Breathing Queen" in my networking groups. Breathing calms the body and when the body is calm, the mind follows which allows better decision making.
Recipe: 3 X a day for 30 days take 10-20 breaths in this way: Breathe in through your nose to the count of 6, hold for a moment, exhale out nose to count of 6. Easy, cheap, helpful. Like anything have to practice to make it a positive habit.