The recession is certainly impacting most everyone in one way or another. One thing that I have observed is that a lot of people feel stressed, anxious, or scared due to the current circumstances. They may feel that their jobs are in peril, that their investments will be ruined, that they will not be able to support their families, and a variety of other tumultuous emotions.
All of them are completely understandable and justified. Uncertainty breeds fear, and there is certainly a lot of both going on right now. We all feel the pain in one way or another.
And of course, this is an especially important time to reach out to family and friends for comfort, compassion, and camaraderie. Tough times definitely bring people together.
But when you're lying awake at night worrying about the state of your job or finances, the anxiety can be nearly debilitating. What do you do then?
To help lessen the anxiety and tension characteristic of these uncertain times, there are a few simple points to remember which can help bring you closer toward acceptance and a more relaxed state of mind.
First, remember the old adage that "this too shall pass." The recession certainly will not last forever, and there are brighter days ahead. Looking back at history, there have been up and down swings for everything. People have always endured, and resilience is one thing that has always greeted us out ahead.
You are not defined by your money. Money is, of course, important, but it is not everything. Do not let it dictate your level of happiness, status, or self-esteem. It is a useful tool, but is not the sum of your life.
You are not your job. This is worthy of a little association. Yes, a job is essentially your bread and butter, but just like money itself, it does not define you. If you happen to end up in an inconvenient circumstance where you are laid off, then of course you will need to grieve a bit, but finding acceptance of the situation will help you propel toward your next endeavor with greater ease.
Of course it would be a disappointment, but mentally, do not let the situation take you into despair. It is not your fault if you were let go, and it's certainly not the end of the road. There is no need to beat yourself up over it. You will find a way, and it will be much easier without the burden of the shame or guilt created by dragging yourself over the coals about the situation.
The same goes for the fear of losing your job. If the unfortunate happens, then again, you will find a way. Do not think that your job is your only means of survival.
Of course you know you always do your best at it. Beyond that, things are a bit out of your control. If your company takes a dive, then that does not mean that you have to go down with it. Even if you've been there for twenty years, you will of course have a close bond with it and your co-workers, and you would not want to see that go away, but when you know you've always done your best , Then what more can you do? Keep in mind that losing your job is not the end of the world because you are not letting it control your life. Do what you have to do every day, but rest assured knowing that you always put in 100%, and there's nothing more you can do beyond that.
The reason why I make this kind a big point, is that I have seen so many people who have let their jobs consume their lives. Now at some points in my career, I have been there, but for the most part, I have been able to take solace in the above point, so that most of the time, I am able to leave work at work. More on that later …
Do not let a news overload rack your brain. Just turning on the news anymore can elevate anxiety levels through the roof. This company is laying off 5,000 people, they are slashing thousands of jobs, the Dow went down 500 points, and so on, and so on. You hear it everyday! The mainstream media experts at breeding fear in people by always highlighting the worst things in the world. Here's an alternative …
Instead of watching the news in the evening, turn off the TV, and do something relaxing. Reflect on the moment.
This is especially good to do during pleasant weather. If it permits, take a walk to a nice park or natural area. Take in the breeze, the sunlight, the sound of the birds, the swaying of the trees, and so forth. Moments like that are what life is really all about. The world is not all about bad news, corruption, money, pitfalls, etc. Without the news chirping at you all day long, then it's easier to look at your world as what's immediately around you, and sometimes, that's all that matters. What you see is what you get – you do not have to let anything else influence that. The economy is not everything.
Try to live in the present. If you really look at it, the economy may not be directly affecting you at this current point in time. It is very important to achieve financial independence, live within your means, and to try to build as much savings as you can afford to. These things make it easier to weather storms and can help lessen anxiety and uncertainty.
So look at it this way. Do you notice any direct difference in your financial life? Do you still go to work every day, shop at the same stores, put gas in your car, pay the bills, and live about the same way as you always did? Although the recession seems like this big monster waiting to sink its teeth into everything, remember, that's just a concept. Yes, it is always possible that hardships may strike your company and they may downsize, but you do not know for sure, so try not to project a disastrous scenario on it or your own life just because you always "hear" that the economy Is sinking deeper and that financial apocalypse is just around the corner.
When you attempt to live in the present moment, then you are relishing in what is around you. You are likely in a reliably secure situation if you have currently have shelter, food, warmth, and clothes on your back. Do not read too deep into the doom and gloom that is projected upon us.
Focus on what you currently have, and not at what you stand to lose. When you look at the world through this lens, then you are able to embrace gratitude to a fuller degree because you are not letting fear be your guide. If you look at your house as something which provides comfort, warmth, and something you are grateful to have in your current situation, then you feel more at ease. Conversely, if you look at the "what ifs" and picture your house as something that you could lose any time due to a job loss or financial loss, then you are primarily feeling a sense of fear. In either situation, it is what it is all the same – a house. Of course, anything can happen, but you do not know what it is, so just remember that you do your best, and appreciate what you have in front of you right now.
Remember that you have a support group around you. If you do fall on hard times, then remember that you have to do what you have to, and if that means reaching out for support and a helping hand, then do not let pride stand in your way. If you are laid off, take a cut in pay, or are just simply having trouble making ends meet, then do not feel embarrassed. These negative emotions just stand in your way. Your family or friends are there for you, just as you would be there for them. These are the important things life. Family and friends are the web of support that keeps us all afloat in rough waters.
In summary, your frame of mind is your reality. How you choose to view things is how they end up feeling for you. If you let fear control you, then anxiety results, and you end up feeling more stressed and worried. When you embrace the concept of just letting negative triggers be, without reading too far into them and playing into their trap of making you feel anxious and tense, then you can feel like a bit of weight is being lifted from your shoulders. When this mental energy is freed up, then you can use it toward more constructive things that can help you weather the current economic times more optimally and enjoy things in life beyond job and money.