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Your Brain on Money Stress

Got money stress?

Got money stress?

Money and stress tend to go hand in hand.

Question is, which came first?  It’s sort of the like chicken or the egg query.

What’s interesting to note is that stress can be the result of both having and NOT having money, so there is no common or easy solution.

When it comes to money, we are rarely logical under stress.  Instead, our instinctive, primitive brain takes over.  Because money is a core survival issue, money stress sends out danger signals within our bodies.

If your stress is caused by not enough money, then your instinct drives you to find more money.

If your stress is caused by having more money than you feel comfortable with, then your instinct may drive you to get rid of it (without your conscious awareness ).  This response is what’s at the heart of most lottery winners losing it all within a few years.

If your stress is caused by the fear of losing your money, then you will probably have mood swings that follow what happens in the stock market.

If your stress is caused the need for/avoidance of having a money conversation, there is no subject more wrought with emotions, feelings, envy and stress than money because of its taboo nature.

Our money behaviors change based on our stress levels. (Take the Money Style Quiz to find out how you react to money stress.)

As cortisol (the stress hormone) floods our brain, it’s like an engine getting too much gas in the carburetor.  The result is that we malfunction.

As if that’s not bad enough, our mood-regulating serotonin levels drop. This can cause mild or severe depression, impact memory, and interrupt our sleep.  The combined effect is a reduced ability to handle even simple, daily financial tasks and poor coping skills.

If this goes on for too long, even a small, everyday responsibility–like paying the cable bill– feels overwhelming.

It’s a vicious circle.

If you’ve ever wondered why a smart person like you can’t seem to get it together when it comes to money, this is at the core of it.

So what’s the solution to money stress?   How do you clear the brain fog?

Focus on managing your stress first, before you tackle your money issues.  Be on the lookout for my upcoming workshop where I share 7 Quick and Easy Ways to Reduce Your Stress Fast (click here to receive workshop details when available).

You may think that your stress will go away if you just solve your current money issue.   Since your brain is not functioning properly due to the stress response, you’re more likely to choose some short term solution that ultimately makes your financial situation more challenging.

When you focus first on stress relief, you give your brain and your body the time to rebalance.  When you can think clearly and rationally (not easy to do when it comes to money), you’ll be able to see more and better solutions.

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