5 Signs of Financial PTSD (And How To Fix It)

5 Signs of Financial PTSD (And How To Fix It) Written by Shekinah Ade-Gold for Budget Leaf

What is Financial PTSD?

Research by Dr. Galen Buckwalter has made it clear that how people view money affects their mental health. According to science, our ‘fight/flight/freeze’ response is activated when it comes to being able to provide for ourselves. If we’re in a situation and we have the necessary cash or resources, or we are able to come by a particular provision in another way, then the stress hormones we produce become balanced and we relaxed. However, when we are in lack, the stress stays in our system and breaks down our minds and bodies in negative and harmful ways. We’re not made to handle extreme stress for long periods of time.

Reduce Your Debt

When you have debt, this is a burden that is constantly on your mind. You can start to hate getting phone calls/emails as there might be a bill collector on the other end, or you may start to have nightmares because you are not able to put your money towards your future goals. It is important to reduce debt as much as possible, as this will restore your confidence and peace of mind.

Talk To a Financial Planner/ Therapist

Sometimes, our childhood memories of money are not very great; we may remember that finances weren’t openly discussed at home as that may have yielded negative results. The downside of this is that children then grow to adulthood without really understanding how money works, and this can be especially damaging to one’s self-esteem when they have no idea why their finances are not growing. A financial planner or even a therapist can get to the root of your specific issue and offer helpful solutions.

Earn More or Spend Less

It is generally believed that in order to improve your finances, one can either earn more money or spend less of what they have. These both require discipline and commitment; however, it must be pointed out that if you are not able to budget well, earning more will not solve your problem. Likewise, if you cut down on important expenses such as healthy meals and avoiding bills and debt, you will have to pay even more later on if you get sick and you become a slave to paying off other people and companies. Use your skills and resources to earn more, and take care of expenses in a timely and efficient manner by budgeting. This will keep you in control of your money.

Stay Healthy in Mind and Body

It is important to relax as much as possible, and keep your body in good health. Fatigue, anxiety, depression and other mental issues can cause us to make poor money choices that can get in the way of how much we are able to save and invest. Not sleeping enough and eating poorly makes the mind foggy, invites various illnesses, and brings down our general mood. In order to improve how we feel, we are tempted to spend on things we may not even need. Having a positive self- image and believing in one’s ability to improve their life will go a long way in helping to make better decisions. You are capable.

Give Thanks

It cannot be stressed enough (pun intended) that gratitude helps with a myriad of problems. Being grateful increases our ability to see more value in ourselves and what we have, and this is how we are able to see our resources and see more opportunities. If you know how valuable you are, you will make steps that will bring money to you without unnecessary stress. The more you manifest your worth in this way, the more positive steps you will take. Money is simply a tool, but how we treat it says a whole lot about us. Just remember that we all learn in our own time.

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