I have found in my private practice and in life that no matter what the economy is doing, people worry about money. I am not surprised because we need money to live, to care for our needs, and to take care of others. Yet how we view money is a tricky thing. I have known patients with obvious wealth who worried about money and those with less who did not. I have seen people spend money to alleviate uncomfortable feelings and others who deprive themselves of any kind of spending. My observations about money and worry are based not on an accounting background but rather on a psychological one. In my view, money and emotional security go hand in hand. The more internal fear and worry we have, the more it affects our relationship with money.
There are many reasons for money concerns, and often they are based on real issues. We struggle with job loss, unexpected expenses such as health costs, moving, and the ups and downs of the economy. During times of economic strife it is so important to stay calm, get clarity about the steps we need to take, and tap into as much community as possible. I encourage my patients to focus on taking the small steps needed to handle big economic shifts because it can be overwhelming to focus only on what is looming in front of them. When we feel we have control in our lives, even in small ways, we feel empowered. When we feel empowered, we can take the next step and then the next step after that. Slowly, we move toward stability