Monday, January 26, 2009

The Fear Factor Of The Recession

Yes, indeed, most Americans are feeling the harsh effects of a recession.  The bubble has truly burst and reality is hitting us hard.  One common response I see is one of fear.  This is different then anxiety although certainly fear and anxiety go hand in hand. 

A fear response puts the body into a fright or flight mode.  To be operating on this level can be harmful.  As many of us know, we release a higher level of cortisol when we are in this alarm state.  Too much cortisol plays havoc on our sleep habits, our nervous system, our concentration, our ability to perform, our state of mind, and certainly our bodies.

Understandably, in financial times like this, many folks cut back on their expenses.  My concern, is when these cutbacks include wellness related items such as a gym membership, vitamins, a monthly massage, or whatever you do take care of yourself... Certainly, it's possible to spend less money and still lead a healthy lifestyle.  

I encourage anyone who is experiencing a lot of fear around their finances, to talk about it with a trusted individual or a professional.  It's important to sort out what is rational and what is irrational thinking.  Being in a fear mode often elicits irrational thinking.  Get a handle on your emotions before you make any big changes.  Create a plan of action based on logic, not emotion.  Making decisions based on fear usually is a bad idea.  This may be a good time to ask for some support from a family member or a friend.  Whatever you do, don't despair.  Our country has afforded us many opportunities and riches even during the toughest times.  Resources abound.  So does the generosity and good faith of many.

Hopefully many people will find decent ways to cope with this recession.  If history is any indication, Americans have an reputation for being a hardy, if not, stubborn bunch.  Winston Churchill once said, "When in Hell, keep going!"

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