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3 min read

Managing Stress and Finding Your Balance

Managing Stress and Finding Your Balance

Money Energy Law #5:

Don’t let stress short-circuit your life. Embrace it, manage it, do more and find balance.

Stress…it’s unavoidable, but it’s not all bad either. The key is identifying positive stress from negative stress. In small doses, stress can be energizing and even uplifting. It’s a catalyst for change, motivation, or a nudge to avoid complacency in our lives. Small amounts of stress motivate us to take actions necessary to complete a task or accomplish our goals. These positive activities promote good health and a better quality of life.

Managing stress helps manage money.

The question is “Can you distinguish between good stress and bad stress?” It may be a natural part of our lives, but too much of it can produce irrational decisions and behavioral risks that can impact your financial, physical, and mental wellbeing. Just think how many times stress led to anxiety that prevented you from getting a good night’s sleep. Whether you wake up with greater physical, emotional, or psychological strain, you can be sure it will also impact your financial decision-making too. So, if you can manage stress, you are also helping to manage your money.

The good news is, there are clear signals in our natural and learned behavior that help reveal stress levels, which enables us to manage it and conceivably improve our quality of life. To uncover the influence of stress in your own life, how would you rate your level of well-being in these key areas:

  1. Are you living with purpose and intention?

  2. Do you feel balanced in critical areas of your life?

  3. Are you successfully working in a role which is a fit for your talents?

  4. Have you attended to all your needs for day-to-day living?

  5. Are you investing in meaningful life experiences?

  6. Are your personal and family relationships in harmony?

  7. Do you have a plan for giving back to the community?

Observing How Stress Signals Can Impact Life Energies

Helen Jones is a 38-year-old married mother of three young children and works as a corporate trainer. Helen is outgoing, spontaneous, creative, and content with her life. She engages with a variety of people socially and in her community. She considers herself lifestyle-focused and enjoys family travel.

Even with all these positive references, Helen has been feeling her life has become chaotic. She worries about her health and her financial future. Just recently, she has been questioning her approach to money and her spending habits after her daughter asked why, as a family, they spent every Saturday shopping at the city mall. 

The Impact of a Financial Behavior on Loved Ones

Helen realized the poor financial habits she was passing on to her daughter. It made her think about what drives her to spend money. This is what she came up with:

  1. Watching too many advertisements encourages her to follow the herd and make impulsive purchases.

  2. Reading celebrity magazines creates temptations to buy into the latest fashion or makeup.

  3. While household bills were paid in a timely manner and debt was manageable, too much disposable income was spent on her image, entertainment, and spontaneous desires.

And then – Helen had a gripping concern! Would she and her partner have enough money for their retirement goals? In fact, she feared running out of money more than she feared death. That may sound surprising, but recent studies show that 61% of Americans feel the same way!1

Opening Yourself Up to Advice

Helen's partner spent a great deal of time traveling for work, so managing the money was her responsibility. Faced with an ever-increasing stress level about the possibility of outliving their nest egg, she engaged a financial advisor.

The advisor asked Helen the following questions:

  • Are you earning a sufficient income to pay for both your immediate living needs and some of your wants? Thinking this through, Helen realized the family lived hand to mouth, comfortably, yes, but couldn’t ride out an emergency.

  • Do you have cash representing 6 to 12 months’ worth of living expenses put away in a reserve fund? No.

  • Do you have any investments that can be turned into long-term guaranteed revenue streams from investments and contracts? No.

  • Do you have three or more ways to earn immediate cash flow to pay your bills? No.

After recognizing the future effect that her current spending would have on retirement and with the help of financial planning, Helen has a strong desire to save and create wealth. She has a budget these days—and it’s not just a personal budget, but a family budget. Not only does that help to reduce financial stress, but it also helps with expense control, debt management, goal setting, enhanced savings, and improved communications and collaboration. Helen is making more practical decisions with her money such as obtaining quality health insurance, increasing retirement savings, and becoming a more fiscally responsible parent to her children.

A Rosier Picture of Retirement

Helen is finding new ways to charge up her Money Energy battery. It will require continued financial discipline. And if she continues down this path, Helen and her partner have a higher likelihood to have a well-funded and lifestyle-sustaining retirement.

This was a wake-up call for Helen. Has this been a wake-up call for you? If you return to the life quality questions asked earlier, are you able to recognize where bad stress may be influencing your own life and financial wellbeing?

Stay tuned every week as we continue to reveal all 40 Laws of Money Energy.

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