Helaine Z. Harris, MA, MFT

Are you, or anyone you know, struggling with feelings of anxiety because of money? It’s a safe bet the answer is “Yes!” Normally I say finances and abundance issues are connected to self-esteem but right now there is such a major economic shift going on and for many people money stress is connected to having difficulty with the changing financial structure. People are feeling out-of-control and fearful.

This issue has become so prevalent that now MAD is getting known as the acronym for Money Anxiety Disorder. It’s reaching almost epidemic proportions with the current economic climate. According to a survey in October of the American Psychological Association, “80% of us find the recent financial crisis a significant cause of stress—up from 66% last April—and women are bearing the brunt of the worry.”

Some of the symptoms of stress and Money Anxiety
* Pervasive sense of panic and fear or depression and futility
* Effecting health, putting you at higher risk for a host of ailments
* High blood pressure
* Heart disease

Some less serious side effects are sleep disorders, increase in all kinds of addictions, digestive problems and eating disorders, including weight loss and more frequently, weight gain.

This anxiety is the result of uncertainty, not knowing what the future holds and creating worst case scenarios in our minds. Then many create limiting beliefs in their mind and remain focused on all the doom and gloom around us.

According to the Law of Attraction, LOA, this type of thinking results in self-fulfilling prophecies which keep attracting disastrous evidence to prove our emotional perceptions. Consequently, we end up spiraling rapidly downhill, eventually hitting the bottom.

“You attract to your life whatever you give energy, attention, and focus to, whether wanted or unwanted.” ~ Michael Losier, author of The Law of Attraction

So what does one do? You can stop your own struggle and begin to rebuild. Your foundation for this is made up of your potential, strengths, abilities, and resourcefulness. Your fear is what you need to combat and change. It takes an inner warrior, or the Feminine Warrior as I call it, to empower yourself and turn this situation around.

Times like this can be your greatest gift, even though a challenge. It might even bring about creative solutions by thinking outside the box, which feelings of safety do not encourage.

Usually any major achievement, breakthrough or change is preceded by confusion and even overwhelm. Uncertainty is frequently the gateway for new ideas and creativity, so welcome them, even if they are not comfortable.

History has shown that great wealth has been made during depressions by those who are willing to embrace the unknown and change. Imagine you are one of them.

Science has proved exercise and meditation are two of the best ways to combat stress and anxiety. There are a number of processes I’ve already suggested in my article Stress Success Quickies, found on my website.

The #1 Secret to combating Money Anxiety, and perhaps all anxiety, is breathing, deep, slow breaths. Deep breathing takes you from the Sympathetic Nervous System to the Parasympathetic Nervous System. This means you go from the fight/flight space to the warm, peaceful place.

Calming Breath – Begin with a 4-count breathing, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Later you can increase the length of each count, first to 5, then to 6, etc. Start with 5 breaths.
1. Breathe in to the count of four
2. Hold
3. Breathe out
4. Hold

Belly Breathing – In through the nose, out through the mouth
1. Put a hand on your upper chest and belly, to keep the chest still.
2. Breathe in, letting your belly blow up like a balloon.
3. Breathe out.
4. This one is the great for turning around all anxiety.

1. Write down your specific money anxiety issues now.
Bad choices or investments and you lost money
You lost your job
You didn’t save enough money when you had it coming in, etc.

2. What feelings and emotions come up from these issues?
I feel stupid about money
I can’t forgive myself for . . . . .
I lost all that money on. . . . . . and feel terrible now.

3. What main abundance goals do you want to experience differently?
I want $1,000, $15,000 or whatever it is for you, in my savings account.
I want to feel comfortable financially so I can do what I want without thinking
about money.
I want to create . . . . product(s) in my business and bring in $_____ a month.
Imagine your next goal, not the biggest one you want, but the next goal in 3 months.

4. Then use Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT, emotional acupuncture, hypnosis and
EMDR, to quickly release these negative beliefs and emotions.
5. Using the LOA, visualize your future self coming through this time period better than
you were going into it. Feel the energy and emotions as you do this.
Imagine the new skills you’re developing.
See yourself totally successful looking back on this time period.
Enjoy the feelings of empowerment and success from your internal shift,
Consider what your next most important step is that leads toward the future
success that is yours.
Feel how excited you are to take that step and you'll be on your way to
achieving it. Once you can imagine it with all the energy and emotions,
you can achieve it.

So give up the struggle now. Say yes to your current experience, tune into your inner wisdom and your brain will switch into success and abundance mode! If these methods are not successful on your own, then contact a good psychotherapist or coach to assist you.

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Author's Bio: 

Helaine Z. Harris, MA, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist, teacher, lecturer and founder of An Awakening Center™, which blends over 40 traditional and alternative psychotherapies. License #MF 15327

© Helaine Z. Harris, 2009