Financial losses are processed in the same area of the brain that responds to mortal danger - this is the conclusion reached by researchers from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Higher School of Economics. Worrying about money can affect your mental and physical health - there is a clear link between financial stress and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Depression and anxiety are two of the most typical consequences of financial failure. Depressed people usually feel hopeless, helpless, have difficulty concentrating and become withdrawn. Chronic anxiety increases heart rate, leads to irritability and panic attacks.
The ability to maintain mental health under stress is called resilience. Researchers compare resilience to an emotional muscle that can be exercised at any time. Being resilient does not mean that a person never experiences sadness, fear, or anxiety. It means that he or she doesn't get stuck in these states for long periods of time.
Think back to how many losses you have already faced in your life. Self-confidence is important when we face challenges. Think encouraging thoughts like, "I don't know how yet, but I will find a solution to my problem sooner or later" or "When one door closes, another opens."
Your thinking may be clouded due to stress. You need to constantly remind yourself that you have what it takes to deal with difficult situations. Water the flowers, not the weeds. Focus on your current financial capabilities.
Because your previous financial decisions can influence your current losses, the guilt and shame of past mistakes can become unbearably heavy. This is partly why many people feel isolated from their friends, colleagues, and family when they find themselves in a financial crisis.
But if you feel the need to compare yourself to other people who are more successful in your opinion, remember: you don't know how much money they really have. A posh lifestyle may actually consist of credit cards and debt.
Financial stress can lead you to self-destructive behaviours - as a reaction to the pain experienced. This could be overeating, uncontrolled use of medication or alcohol. Of course, all of these will only make the situation worse.
Alcohol creates nothing but new problems. If you find that you cannot cope on your own, seek professional help. There is no weakness in accepting help from other people.
Closing your eyes and suppressing your emotions is not the best choice. Most problems don't solve themselves. In times of crisis, it's easy to lose courage and perhaps even the will to live. When we give up, we feel overwhelmed, disoriented, powerless and helpless.
In cases of serious loss, there are usually no quick and easy solutions. It is important to accept, endure and live through all the emotions and pain that arise. Negative feelings are important, right and allowed. If you try to avoid your emotions and pain, they only get worse.
The world is changing faster than ever. Those who don't keep up with change will lose out. Learning new skills gives you a chance to find a better paying job or even start a business in a new industry.
Building knowledge and skills should be part of your plan to recover from loss. Read books where you can find inspiration. Look for your path that gives you the strength to stay strong.
As unpleasant as crises can be, they often have positive effects in the long run. Crises pull us out of our routine, awaken our reserves of strength, help us realise that our own limits have not yet been reached, and thus contribute to personal development.
The best way to deal with financial loss is to be proactive on all levels and not give in to the natural desire to escape from problems. Facing your fears means that you don't put off the unpleasant, the difficult or what seems hopeless or impossible.
All of human history is a series of unpleasant surprises, while at the same time a unique story of growth and success. Financial crises become turning points in life. Things are rarely as bad as they seem.
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