Healthworks: Money is a top stressor

In Healthworks, do you know what it is right now? Yes, it's springtime, yes, it's March Madness and yes, it's tax season. Whether you're getting money back or you owe, money is always one of the top stressors. Money is never a simple topic. It symbolizes so much and that's why it can cause anxiety. A recent survey measuring stress in America shows the top three stressors revolve around money or the effort to make money.

"In relationships it can be power, the person making those decisions may have more power. The person who's contributing more may get more decision-making power," said Scott Bea, Psy.D., from the Cleveland Clinic.

Anything you can do to improve your financial situation, will help relieve money-related stress; however, many people feel they're doing all they can. If that's the case and you find yourself constantly running calculations in your head, worrying, Dr. Bea suggests restrict bill paying to an hour per week and even doing it with your partner, suffering through it together will help. He also says learning mindfulness strategies to help you live in the moment, can help too.

"Confining the worry about money and finances would be a really smart thing, so you can go about being involved in the rest of your life," said Dr. Bea.

According to Dr. Bea, money management is also the number one stressor in married life. If money is a touchy subject with your loved one, he says coming to a shared understanding of your financial view may help reduce conflict. In other words, you need to talk about it.

Dr. Bea said, "You might have to come up with a mutual game plan or a shared idea and that probably involves sitting down and having a real conversation about what money means to you, what money meant to your family and what you want it to mean in your future."

Dr. Bea says we tend to stress most about things we can't control. So once you feel like you have some control over your finances, some of that stress will go away.
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