Recession stress

Written by: Tanja Dejanović Šagadin, psychologist.

Various psychosomatic symptoms are often caused by stress from excessive worrying about the financial situation, among which the most uncomfortable ones are the symptoms of panic attack.

Strong heart beat and irregularities in the heart rhythm, sweating, feeling short of breath and tightness in chest, even visual field narrowing and vertigo – all these are symptoms of panic attacks and at its core are caused by psychological reasons, that is, they are not caused by a physical illness. Lots of people experience some or even all of these symptoms in the events of heightened stress, because they have not developed strategies to deal with stress.

When a panic attack occurs it is important to know that they are not a sign of physical illness, that you cannot die from them and that they will go away.

If we understand what’s going on to us, and they are mostly how our organism reacts to sympathetic nervous system’s prolonged activity and it is nothing abnormal, then the panic subsides and with panic, the symptoms also.

The strategy of dealing with stress can be divided into strategies directed at the problem (solving the situation causing the stress) and strategies directed at emotions.

If our finances are something that realistically are a reason to be concerned about, if we do not have enough money at the end of the month and if we are burying ourselves in debt, then the time has come for the strategies directed at the problem. So, for example, we can make a list of priorities regarding expenses and see which ones out of these are less important and thus easily discarded and how much money we can save.

Those who are hemorrhaging money can write down their expenses for a week or two and after go through the expenses and see if there is something they can give up and thus save money. In this situation using merely strategies directed at emotions is not enough, because although is does help to talk to someone about your situation and share your concerns and fears, but in the long run only solving the problems helps.
Of course there are situations which cannot be solved. In these situations it is counterproductive to use only strategies directed at problems.

People often are never have enough money, they do not have the option for additional jobs, or save a bigger amount of money (for example, single parents or people burdened with huge loans) and spend a great deal of time thinking and worrying about this problem, constantly worrying how to survive the next month, next year, „will they be able to put their children through school“ and similar.

Thereby, it is important to differentiate can the situation be solved or not. If the answer is not, trying to find a solution cannot help, doing so can only lead to more stress, it enhances the feeling of burnout, it is tiring to the whole organism and can lead to exhaustion and illness, both psychological and physical. In these situations it is important to develop strategies to regulate personal level of stress, that is make sure we are relaxed on a regular basis, that we do activities which fill our lives and that are fun and that we find people with who we can share our concerns and fears.

Sport, meditation, yoga, walking in the nature, hanging out with friends, occupying yourselves with animals and different forms of venting out your emotions (crying, screaming into a pillow, hitting your mattress, tearing paper…) can help you release stress and deal with problems on a daily basis.

It’s important to bear in mind that we somehow overcame and gained valuable experience which can help us now.

If we are extremely worried about the upcoming crisis and our finances in the world of the global crisis it is important to detect the main reason of stress. So, if we are prone to looking at the worst scenario and we are extremely worried by the economic crisis, even thought we have a stable job, our current salary is enough for living and paying our loans, the time has come to deal with our emotions, to try again, realistically assess the situation and try to be rational and no worry a lot. What does help is to talk to someone about your concerns and fears, remember what are your strong characteristics and personal traits and seek help in building your self-esteem, personal competence and developing your optimism.

If you have been worrying for a long time and you feel you are really having difficulties coping with stress and that it does affect the quality of your life, it is good to seek professional help in the form of guidance or psychotherapy. On Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. you can talk about your fears, worries, ways of solving problems and various psychological difficulties if you call the Psychological center Tesa’s psychological help line(phone number: 01/48 28 888 ). In Tesa it is possible to arrange a meeting with a psychologist and counseling is free of charge for the young (from 15 to 29) .