The current economic climate is causing many people to feel stressed lately, and for good reason. Falling stock values, the housing collapse, and high unemployment rates have caused people around the world to monitor their finances with concern, wondering how they will continue to feed, house, and educate their families.
Although the global economic situation is undoubtedly stressful, it is important to stay calm in the face of this adversity and not let your mental and physical health suffer due to uncontrolled anxiety. Instead, stop, take a deep breath, and try out the following five steps.
1. Be Aware of Your Body
Recognize the physical signs that you are stressed, such as sweating, aches and pains, and a racing pulse. Do not try to actively change these symptoms. Instead, focus on the flow of breath out of each area of your body and simply consider the way that you are feeling. Over time, this technique can allow you to be less overwhelmed by your own emotions.
2. Let Go of Things Beyond Your Control
No matter how much you worry, you will not be able to turn the stock market around. For each thing you worry about, you need to ask yourself whether this is a situation that you can change. If it is completely beyond your control, you need to let go of those thoughts and instead spend your energy on something that you can directly change.
3. Live in the Present
Do not dwell on the past or on the future, but instead, focus on your present situation. Polls show that most people become happier after age 50 no matter what, likely because they stop worrying about how to reach an idealized future and instead begin to enjoy what they have already.
4. Focus on What You Have
Look at the people around you and appreciate your relationships. Find gratitude, compassion, and pleasure in the relationships that you have rather than worrying about things that you do not have.
5. Make Necessary Changes Confidently
Do whatever you can to maximize your current happiness and wellbeing. Do not hang onto a lifestyle that you can no longer maintain, but instead, make the changes necessary to enjoy your life as it is now.
While life may be tough now, ultimately the personal growth that you cultivate during these difficult times will enable you to live a happier, more fulfilling life in both the present and in the future.