Coping with Financial Anxiety

Are you one of the many Americans currently experiencing financial anxiety? Dr. Samantha Brustad here, Florida licensed psychologist and owner of  In this blog post, I’ll share my tips for how you can ease stress and anxiety through these tough economic times.

Understand the Effects of Financial Anxiety on your Health

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs tells us that a person cannot reach their full potential, experience high esteem or engage in meaningful relationships if their needs for safety and security are not met. So it makes sense that when financial stability is threatened, it can impact a person’s health profoundly.

Financial anxiety can lead to:

  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain (or loss)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Physical ailments such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • Unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking too much, abusing prescription or illegal drugs, gambling, or overeating.

How to Cope with Financial Anxiety

Seek Support Talk to people you trust in your family or inner circle about your money worries. You may also benefit from speaking with a mental health and/or financial planning professional to help you cope with your anxiety and make progress on tackling your financial challenges.

Avoid Catastrophic Thinking When financial anxiety becomes overwhelming is  easy to slip into catastrophic thinking, where we ruminate irrationally about what is may happen and who we are. These exaggerated thoughts create stressful emotions.

Reorganize your budget. Consistently updating your budget is an important step to decreasing financial anxiety. Take control of your finances by setting aside some time to schedule, organize, and declutter all of the money coming in and out of your bank account. The more control you have, the less stress you will feel.

Engage in regular self-care routines.  When your anxiety increases it is important to also increase self-care behaviors. There are plenty of low-cost and free activities that can relieve stress, such as a warm bubble bath, reading in the park, a nap, a nature walk, and bird watching.

All in all, when feeling overwhelmed by money worries, it is important to remember that you are not alone and it is OK to ask for help and support.

Samantha Brustad, Psy.D.