By: Kevin Engbers, CFP® Founder, Wealth Advisor
Have you noticed from your Facebook or Twitter feeds that people just don’t seem to be happy anymore? The demands placed on our families due to COVID-19 and lack of control in many areas of our lives has exponentially elevated stress levels.
Stress Is a Major Problem
Happiness can be hard to find when you feel too much stress. However, it is important to understand the difference between stress and stressors. Stressors are the triggers (people, events, etc.). Stress is how you view the stressors’ effect on you.
Perception plays an important role in dealing with stress. Consider these questions:
- How bad is the threat?
- How well can you respond to it?
Oftentimes, you cannot remove stressors, but you can decrease the stress by changing how you view them.
Dealing with stress is difficult. And although I know it’s often easier said than done, here is my advice to help deal with stress:
Don’t Let Fear Control Your Conscience.
When we act out of fear, our mental health suffers, and we’re more likely to make bad decisions. For example, during an economic downturn, fear could motivate investors to sell off investments, a behavior that might not align with long-term goals. It’s important to appropriately assess risk and understand the role it plays in our lives.
Focus on Your Physical Health.
Focusing on your physical health can have a lot of other wonderful domino effects.It doesn’t matter if you run, take a walk, lift weights, dance or just stretch. Listen to your body and treat it with kindness. You’ll be surprised what it gives back.
Stay Positive Mentally and Emotionally by Finding Your Joy
Things feel heavier this year and whether you’re feeling sad, scared, anxious or even angry – those feelings are valid, and it’s important to make space for them. However, I hope you all find things that help balance those heavier emotions.
You can get through this. Remember to set things down. You don’t have to carry everything on your shoulders. Your mental and emotional health matter, too.
If you’re a spiritual person, turn to your faith to find more peace. When I focus my attention on my faith in God, I’m able to dial down the stress and negative voices in my head and feel empowered to choose my thoughts, words and actions.
There is a lot going on around us. Look up and around.
Find the joy in the little things, such as:
- The sun will rise again
- Baking your favorite pie
- Watching that movie that makes you smile
- Laughing with your family
- The warmth of your cup of coffee
Do Not Become Isolated
Find ways to get fresh air, connect with family and friends (virtually or safely) and make sure to have check-in points with yourself.
Find Ways to Help Others
Having a community connection can help bring joy into our lives. And, although there is a pandemic, there are still ways to help out. You could volunteer, deliver groceries to your elderly neighbors, donate time or money to people in need – or even simply call your friends and family to check up on them.
Maintain Purpose in Your Life
Life may look a little bit different, but that doesn’t defeat your purpose. Every day is yours if you want it to be.
Helen Keller is an example of someone who maintained purpose. She lost her vision and hearing when she was barely two years old but still went on to write 12 books. She dealt with adversity and tried to make the best of her situation, which is the very definition of emotional resilience – approaching, not withdrawing, from challenges.
If you need help with being happy with your financial situation, feel free to contact me at 605-271-6023.
Let’s talk soon!