Over the last two years, uncertainty has riddled our lives. The pandemic, political division, supply chain problems, and unprecedented inflation pervade us. Pre-existing debt compounds the impact of high costs and now weighs more on our conscience than ever. Constant stress often leads to anxiety, depression, or worse.
The first step in dealing with inflation-induced anxiety is recognizing what is in your control and not in your control. Humans tend to have a penchant for trying to control everything around us. Accept the universal reality that forces outside our actions are beyond our manipulation—a hard truth to digest, but one that will save much grey hair.
Worry is never going to disappear from our lives completely. We can mitigate how impactful it is to our wellbeing. Given that current inflation doesn’t seem to have an end in sight, take heed to some practical approaches to cope:
An expensive gym membership is not the only way to get the blood pumping. Torturous workouts and complicated routines are not necessarily the solution either. A simple brisk walk, bike ride, or a pick-up game at your local park can be all you need. Health experts recommend some form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily. Getting the heart rate up releases endorphins which make us feel good. No matter what you do, make it a daily activity.
Trim The Caffeine
Few things are more counterproductive to anxiety than over-caffeinating. Caffeine stimulates the activity in your brain and central nervous system. It increases your heart rate, mental alertness, and energy level. If you’re already in an anxious state, caffeine will only exacerbate the problem. The recommended maximum dose of caffeine in a given day is no more than 400mg. Given that the average Starbucks small coffee contains between 195mg—280mg, it would be best to stick to one cup a day. Keep in mind that the effects of caffeine stay in your body for up to 12 hours even though the initial rush has worn off.
One of the most important things we can do for our mind and body is getting the proper amount of rest. An adult’s recommended amount of sleep is 7 hours or more per night. Studies have shown that less than the recommended 7 hours can lead to weight gain, heart disease, depression, and more. Prioritize getting to bed at an hour that gives you the proper rest. Your nervous system will thank you for it.
Have you ever heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine?” There is scientifically proven truth to support this claim. It improves your mood and has many physiological effects. Stress contracts our muscles more than in a relaxed state. Laughter relieves the tension and gives us an endorphin boost. The stress hormone our brain releases is called cortisol. A good laugh decrees these levels because of an increased oxygen intake that triggers better circulation. If you need a good chuckle, tune into “funny videos” on YouTube. You won’t be disappointed.
We live in a world that bombards us with constant information. The digital age floods our minds constantly, and our brain has difficulty keeping up. Make a concerted effort to put the smartphone down or close the laptop and step away. Even if you have to schedule the time, do it.
Talk to a Friend
A true friend is always there for us. In our negative head space, we often feel alone with no way out of the situation. Many times, we need to get out of our heads. Calling a friend can be the medicine we need. The conversation doesn’t need to revolve around what you’re worried about; it can be about the silly video you watched on YouTube. The point is to connect with another person who cares about you. It can recenter those negative thoughts and provide a new perspective.
The most significant liability to have in an inflationary environment is unsettled debt. High-interest credit cards are hard enough to pay off. When food, gas, and rent are skyrocketing, it can feel overwhelming. A hard look at your financial situation is complex when the mere mention of inflation triggers your nerves, but a necessary step to take.
Start with reviewing your budget and figuring out where you could cut back. Reinvest those funds into the lowest debt balance you have. Over time, you’ll see the balance rescind and eventually disappear.
You may have already taken this step but can’t find one cent to cut back on. It might be time to get a professional involved. Advocate Debt Relief specializes in helping you find solutions that may be unfamiliar—making that call might be the most impactful step you can take to relieve your anxiety and discover financial freedom.