Are you wondering how to cope with economic stress at home and at work? It's a fact that dealing with financial challenges and uncertainty in the economy can lead to stress that permeates every aspect of daily life. Fortunately, it's possible to turn the fear into courage. You can find out how in Judith Orloff, M.D.'s book, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life. The author, who is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), shares her extensive knowledge on the subject with readers of LoveToKnow Stress in this exclusive expert interview.
About Economic Stress at Home and at Work
Does stress related to economic issues impact one's home and work life?
In my new book Emotional Freedom I discuss how stressful emotions such as worry and fear can impact one's home and work life. These emotions set off the flight or flight response and pump stress hormones into your body. These make you on edge emotionally and stressed to your limit physically. Then you're more irritable and less patient at home, which can make your fuse short with your family. Economic issues impact work in numerous ways. It sets an anxious tone with coworkers, you might be afraid of losing your job, or feeling survivor guilt after your coworkers have been laid off.
What suggestions can you offer for keeping anxiety over economic concerns from negatively one's job performance?
It's very important to stay in the present moment and do not catastrophize about the future. Focus on what you can accomplish today in your job, what enjoyment you can find in the work, and how your work can be of service to others. Focus on what you have to be grateful for in your life, such as your health, children, and friends. Don't tell yourself negative stories about your job; keep a positive attitude, doing the best you can do, and try to encourage co-workers with positive comments such as 'You're doing a wonderful job.'
What stress management tips do you have for people who need help coping with financial problems and uncertainty?
- Eliminate or decrease your usage of caffeine, sugar, or other stimulants--these fuel anxiety and the fight or flight response
- Practice deep breathing throughout the day--visualize yourself breathing out stress, breathing in calm and positivity.
- Take mini breaks to go out for a walk, look at the day, take a few deep breathes to relax.
- Take news fasts--avoid looking at doom and gloom newscasts so you're not inundated with bad news.
Risks and Potential Benefits of Economic Stress
What are the risks associated with avoiding dealing with stress associated with economic hardship?
The physical and emotional effects of stress can wear at your body and spirit. When emotions aren't dealt with and cleared the stress builds in your body causing many symptoms such as acid reflux, tight shoulders, rapid heart beat, and exhaustion.
Are there any benefits associated with facing economic uncertainty and hardship?
In Emotional Freedom, I present crises as opportunity -- a chance to gain more faith in ourselves, to grow emotionally stronger, to become more loving with friends and family, to be the light in the storm. Use fear as an opportunity to build courage and hope. Spread that hope and positivity to others
For more information about Dr. Judith Orloff and Emotional Freedom, visit DrJudithOrloff.com. You can subscribe to her free newsletter, watch free video classes, find out about upcoming lectures and book signings, and more.
LoveToKnow would like to thank Dr. Orloff for sharing her insights regarding how to deal with economic stress at home and at work.