Tips for a better financial outlook

This was originally published on Monday, June 27 ,2016 in the Pacific Daily News.  Click here to subscribe to the PDN.

It can be frightening when you are overwhelmed by money problems.

Research has proven that money, or the lack of money, is one of the main culprits to stress and even depression. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

Here are more ideas to help you brighten your financial outlook.

  • Monitor your habits. Are you sleeping too much or too little? If you are sleeping too much, get yourself out of bed. If you’re sleeping too little, find activities you can do that will tire you before you go to bed. Eat healthy foods that are not processed. A healthy lifestyle helps curb depression and can clear your mind that can bring forth solutions to your financial troubles.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Stress is very common when you are going through financial troubles. Stress literally causes physical and mental symptoms in the body. Headaches, tight muscles, mood swings, ulcers, and elevated blood pressure are a few symptoms you can experience when under stress. Resorting to drugs or alcohol to relieve some of these symptoms can create other problems that will just add to more stress. Find healthy ways such as exercise or meditation to help cope with the stress.
  • Reflect. Take a hard look at why you are in this situation. What part can you change and have control over? Examine how your use your money. If you share the money with a spouse or significant other, sit down together and have an open discussion. Make plans on how to fix the behaviors that put you in financial distress.
  • Inspiration. Find people, books, or websites that inspire you. By surrounding yourself with positive thoughts you will be more motivated to find solutions to your financial stress.
  • Network. Network with colleagues especially if you lost your job or need a better job. Reach out to past colleagues as well. By doing so you build up your support network. It may even lead to a job.
  • Depression. Do you know the signs of suicide? Become familiar with them particularly if you know someone who is going through financial hardship. If you feel that you have no more options, get help immediately.
  • Volunteer. What better way can you feel good about yourself than making others in need feel good? Volunteering will help you get out of the house and think about other things than moping about your troubles. It will also help you network with others and could bring about work opportunities.
  • Be creative. Studies have shown that painting, sketching, cooking, sewing and other creative forms help clear the mind.
  • Ask for help. Talk to a financial counselor or a therapist. Check with your local credit union or bank to see if they have a counselor on staff. Talk to your insurance company to see if they cover a therapist. You can always confide in a family member or friend. Do not take on the problem by yourself.
  • Stay positive. Be thankful for what you do have. Positive thoughts help in a variety of emotional and physical factors that improve health and dealing with diversity. Of course, most financial problems cannot be solved by positive thoughts. But it is terribly difficult to solve your financial woes when you are glum.

Michael Camacho is president and chief executive officer of Personal Finance Center. He has more than 20 years of experience in retail banking and at financial institutions in Guam and Hawaii. If there is a topic you’d like Michael to cover, please email him at moneymattersguam @yahoo.com and read past columns at the Money Matters blog at http://www.moneymattersguam @wordpress.com.

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