How To Overcome Money Panic
You worry because you worry. Does that make sense? You create your world by your thoughts, words, and actions. Worry creates that which is worried about. You worry about things because you worry about things. People worry because they think it helps. It actually does the opposite. It creates the very problem itself. Panic and worry don’t help; they hinder. How would you like to learn how to stop worrying and start living, very easily? It can be done, simply.
Here are the guidelines to follow:
Recognize when you are anxious and identify the panic triggers. The next time you feel anxiety, stop and ask yourself, “What triggered this anxiety? What thoughts did I just have that triggered it? What kind of situation triggered it?” Identify all the panic triggers in as much detail as possible.
Be aware of your thoughts, the situation, how you perceive the situation (your perception of the situation is often very different from the situation itself), the emotions, and the bodily sensations you have (where do you feel the anxiety, how does it feel like in your body, how does it move, what is its temperature and texture, how big does it feel, and so on). This is most important: note all your observations down on paper!
Look at your notes. First, look at all the physical and emotional sensations you noted down.
These are the easiest to deal with. You see, you may not have considered this up until this moment, but you have a fear of experiencing these sensations (e.g. the coldness you feel, the heart palpitations, the feeling of being enclosed, and so on). Sometime in your past, a real event occurred where you felt these things, and in that real event there may have been real danger imminent.
Your nervous system therefore associated these feelings and physical sensations with danger. Now, even when there is no real danger, when your mind imagines a similar situation, it adds imagined danger to it, and your nervous and emotional system reacts just as if the danger was real. You then get the emotions and sensations all over again, and you believe you are in danger.
You are not in danger this time around. Stop now and notice that all around you everything is OK. Any danger that you may perceive is in your mind, in some projected future. You may be convinced of it, sure that you are right, that the danger will come.
But stop and notice that you are safe, now. Then, as you feel these sensations and emotions (and that is why you have to do this exercise in the moment, when you are in the panic, not later), tell yourself that even if your skin feels cold, you are here, now, OK, whole. Look around you and notice the world is still the same, you are still the same.
Allow yourself to feel the sensations and emotions, and get used to them. You see, in the past you may have been trying to escape them, avoid them, just as you would try to escape danger. Now, notice that you don’t need to escape anything. You can feel the cold, the trembling, the palpitations, the fear, and still everything is OK. Allow yourself to feel and notice it is still OK.
Before you resisted, now allow.
Get comfortable with the sensations and emotions by naming them, looking at them directly and naming them. And as you do this, make a conscious decision to keep breathing normally, deeply, calmly, deep into your lungs and belly and back out, not forced but comfortably.
This will assist greatly because many of your panic patterns are anchored in the shallow breathing pattern that you get into when you panic. Do all this and you will see that within minutes, you will have a smile. You will step out of the hypnotic trance of panic and into the real world.
Next, look at the situations that are triggering your panic. For example, if you panic whenever you have a low bank balance or you get a bill that is too high or whatever, take responsibility and see how you can change these situations.
For example, you may decide to start saving a percentage of your money, never touching it under any condition, so that even when you are “broke”, you still have some savings (of course, you don’t use these savings up to make “emergency” bill payments or whatever, you keep them to invest).
The point will be for you to start to feel safe again when you don’t have spending money or money for bills or whatever, because you know if worst came to worst, you have your savings and investments. You can use this prop until your relax completely, which will happen naturally over time.
Or, if you panic whenever you get your phone bill because it is too high, choose to start changing your phone usage patterns and carriers and so on so that your bill drops. In summary, change the lifestyle factors and situations that are contributing to your anxiety.
(In truth, it is your perception of these situations and factors that is causing the anxiety, not the situations and factors themselves, but sometimes it is difficult to see that when you are in it, and so it is easier to change the situations and factors. Anxiety is a choice of perception, and that is why some people are highly anxious about a thing while others see the exact same thing as nothing to even think about, let alone worry and get stressed.)
Change unhelpful thinking styles. Thought is the first level at which your panic starts. Remember how we said that anxiety, panic, is a choice of perception? This is why you need to change unhelpful thinking styles. Here are some guidelines you can use:
Recognize limiting, fearful thoughts that you have. Then, challenge them for evidence. Before you used to take them as facts. This time, challenge them for evidence in the real world (not evidence in your imagination, but in the real world). Get other people’s perspectives, preferably people outside of your family (people in a family tend to think alike on some core issues) and outside of your closest friends circle.
Do your own testing as well by choosing not to run away but to get involved in that which you feared and acting and seeing what happens (e.g. if you ran away each time a creditor called you and you avoided your phone, pick it up this time, tell your truth, negotiate and see what happens – challenge your fears and get your own evidence).
Substitute your fearful, limiting thoughts with loving, supportive, expanding thoughts. Just do it until it becomes a habit. At first it will require vigilance and effort but soon it will take on its own life. Remember, substitute but don’t fight. Never fight yourself. You can allow the fearful thought to drift by if you notice it.
Don’t fight it but don’t engage it and start running with it. Instead, watch it come and allow it to move on, and meanwhile, put in your own loving, supportive thought. Don’t resist, allow, but add your own.
Avoid black and white thinking (e.g. “It is either I get this check paid or am in a real mess!”).
Avoid generalizing (e.g. “All landlords are out to get their money on time or else they kick you out. All debt collectors don’t understand human situations.”)
Avoid magnifying or focusing on the negative or the unpleasant, on what you don’t want. What you focus on is what you manifest. And by the way, your fears are always much bigger than the reality.
Now that you know that, stop doing it; it doesn’t serve you and you are simply wasting your attention and denying your own power. Put your attention instead on what feels good, what you wish to have and it shall be so.
Avoid overestimating failure and underestimating success. You are far more successful than you think, but you may tend to be ignoring recognizing your successes and focusing and blowing up your perceived failures.
For whatever reason (shame, fear of embarrassment, egotistical superhuman/subhuman self-image, superiority/inferiority complex, etc), you may be focusing on what you perceive to be failures and overestimating the imagined future ones even, and doing the opposite with your successes. There is no failure, only successive moments of learning before mastery is achieved. No one starts out perfect.
We all learnt to walk by falling several times. If we gave up, we would never walk. Thomas Edison tried about 10,000 different “failed” experiments before he discovered the right material for the light bulb. It is part of nature. If you think failure exists, then you are under some superman/subhuman delusion.
“Failure” is natural, it is the way we learn what works and what doesn’t, and everybody and everything has these learning experiences; you are not the only one or only thing. Even your cat or dog has them so take it easy on yourself.
Avoid setting unrealistic expectations and then beating yourself up for it when you cant, naturally, meet them. Life has processes and you can’t go around the process. Before you set yourself an expectation, if you must, then look at the process involved (the truth about it, not just what you imagine it to be) and see what it takes and how long and so on.
If you just pull a date out of your behind, to get to something you have no clue as to what it takes, and then assume your date is correct and your preparation is adequate, and then beat yourself up for it for “failing”, you will of course look at yourself poorly and panic. Be reasonable, and all things are possible.
Avoid taking responsibility for other people’s feelings and thoughts. Look, you cannot possibly get into the mind of anyone and force him or her to have a particular thought. It is impossible. You can influence, cajole or whatever, but you can’t make them think in a certain way. Similarly, you can’t make them feel a particular emotion. These are all their own choices.
They will perceive the world as they choose to, and will think and feel as they choose to. You cannot live your life trying to please everyone. Even the most popular figures such as Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, Kennedy… people who had many people liking them, even they couldn’t get everyone to like them or agree with them so why would you assume you can achieve this impossible feat? Be responsible for your own thoughts and feelings and let everyone else be responsible for theirs.
That will relieve you a lot of stress, the stress of trying to be the general manager of the universe. How can you be responsible for what you cannot affect, the thoughts and feelings of others? Be loving, be fair, but honor your thoughts and feelings and leave others to theirs. You can’t take away their life lessons.
Avoid assuming and “mind reading” others thoughts (e.g. “I did this, and he must have thought this and that and so I should do this now to fix that. ”) Look, you can be intuitive, yes, but intuition is a far cry from the assumptions and mind reading that many people go around trying to do.
Just because someone looked at you a certain way doesn’t mean he knows you haven’t paid your mortgage this month and it doesn’t mean he thinks you are a bad person or a failure or whatever.
The person may have been reacting to his or her own life issues and in that reaction they had a certain face. The face wasn’t meant for you. Most people are concerned about themselves, just like you are. They don’t go around looking and analyzing your life; you do that well enough on your own.
When you walk around assuming people are thinking this or that about you, you will end up walking in stress, reacting to your own assumptions, and the more you do it the more you bring it out, until you do something in the real world that manifests your fears (e.g. you attack someone in a certain way, having believed your mental assumptions, and this person now has to react back to your attack, or you act and speak or dress in a certain way based on your “mind reading” and the other person is forced now to respond to that, making it real).
Intuition is the communication from Spirit in a loving, non-divisive, supportive way, and it is always true and accurate, otherwise it wouldn’t be called intuition (it would be called guesswork). Assumption, mind reading, on the other hand, is your own internal judgments on yourself by yourself, based on what you fear and in an attempt to avoid what you fear, and these judgments you then project out into the world and give them the voice and body of other people to make them real.
Sure, some people will truly think negatively of you, but most of the time its only happening in your thoughts. And even if they do think ill of you, so what? They are reacting to their own issues, you can’t change that, you can’t have everyone like and agree with you, and it doesn’t affect you at all unless you choose it to.
As you can see, panic is a direct result of the thinking style you apply and how you interpret the feedback (your perception style). And you can change your thinking style and your perception.