Managing stress during financial crisis

Managing stress during times of economic instability is hard. By handling stress appropriately, you can create a positive mindset.

Although managing stress during times of economic instability is hard, by han­dling stress appropriately you can create a positive mindset. It has been said by an unknown source, “If you can’t change a situation, change the way you think about it.” Identifying the source of stress, understanding the influence stress has on your health and wellbeing and learning coping mechanisms can be useful to creating a healthy financial outlook.

Employment loss and foreclosure are two major financial crises among the most stressful occurrences that people may experience. Change is stressful, whether it’s positive or negative change. Managing stress during times of change is vitally important.

Stress can trigger negative physical and emotional reactions. These feelings are normal and can elicit reactions such as:

  • Tense or angry feelings
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Feelings of frustration, often leading to arguments
  • Depression or feelings of discouragement

How can you manage these negative feelings? Learn to express your feelings. Positive family communication is one way to do this effectively. Crisis can force you to make rapid changes in your life. This can be difficult but it also can lead to new opportunities.

We often get used to the way stress affects our health. Besides affecting physical, social and emotional health, stress can also influence financial health. Identify the areas in your life that cause stress. Remember, sometimes we are dealing with multiple stressors at once. Then, explore ways to relax, calm down and de-stress. Not all stressors affect individuals in the same way. Understanding how you and your family experience stress can help to promote positive family communication and family problem-solving skills.

Michigan State University Extension offers a new online toolkit called Starting over after Foreclosure, which provides additional information on re-establishing after foreclosure. The toolkit is designed to help people who have been through a home foreclosure (an example of a financial crisis) to help them rebuild their financial lives.

MSU Extension offers a multitude of classes and resources on stress and anger management, parenting, conflict resolution and violence prevention. For programs near you go to:

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