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How to identify and regulate emotions
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Money, and the issues around money, are notoriously anxiety-provoking, and our coping mechanisms are usually unhealthy - for example, aggressive avoidance — a more slow-simmering form of agita that merely (and literally) compounded the problem.
Money doesn’t just represent safety and security and stability. It is safety and security and stability. It is also unavoidable. This means your feelings about money are along for the ride, too — no matter how much energy you expend trying to escape them.
The goal isn’t to eradicate money worries entirely. Some amount of anxiety around money is healthy.
Then, the challenge is not banishing the anxiety but moderating it — which can require practical, measured action. That could mean looking for a new job, hiring a financial planner, consolidating debt, or asking a friend to sit next to you for moral support (or enforcement) while you finally open the bills you’ve been avoiding.
Perhaps the most brutal truth about money anxiety is that money actually is worth worrying about. For all the psychological acrobatics and emotional coping mechanisms, the best solution to financial anxiety is and will always be improving the reality of your finances — which is, of course, significantly easier said than done.
You can manage your financial anxiety and discover how childhood trauma shaped your understanding of money, but you can’t opt out of money-related stress, because you can’t opt-out of money.
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