How to Stop Thinking About Lost Money: A Guide To Break Free

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on July 16, 2023
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The feeling of losing money, especially in investments, can be overwhelming and stressful. Acknowledging and accepting this as a natural response to loss is important. Financial stress can impact your mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and negative thinking patterns.

In this article, we’ll explore practical strategies and tools to help you manage negative thoughts own feelings related to financial loss.

Our Online Mental Health Review team is uniquely qualified to discuss this topic. We’re a group of mental health professionals and financial experts who understand the deep connection between financial well-being and mental health. We combine our knowledge of cognitive behavioral techniques with practical financial advice to provide comprehensive solutions for emotional and financial challenges. Our goal is to equip you with the necessary tools to navigate these difficult situations and emerge stronger.

So, let’s dive into this important conversation.

Techniques for Financial Loss Relief

  1. Engage in Distracting Activities: Engaging in enjoyable activities can help take your mind off losses. It could be reading, gardening, painting, or any hobby that brings you joy and relaxation.
  2. Designate Grieving Time: Allow yourself a specific timeframe to grieve your loss. It’s healthy to experience your emotions but try not to dwell on them indefinitely.
  3. Use Cognitive Tools: Techniques such as cognitive restructuring can help you challenge and change negative thoughts about your financial loss.
  4. Acceptance: Acceptance is the first step towards healing. Acknowledge the loss and understand that it’s part of the investment journey.
  5. Financial Planning: Post-acceptance, start rebuilding your finances. Consult with a financial advisor, create a new budget, and set realistic financial goals
  6. Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices can help you stay present and avoid dwelling on past financial mistakes
  7. Meditation: Regular meditation can reduce stress, increase calmness, and promote happiness

Remember, seeking professional help is okay if your negative thoughts become too overwhelming. Therapists and counselors can provide additional strategies and tools to cope effectively.

How to Stop Worrying About Money

10 things I learned after losing a lot of money | Dorothée Loorbach | TEDxMünster

Financial stress can affect your mental health, causing anxiety and worry. However, there are practical steps you can take to manage these concerns and regain your peace of mind.

  1. Focus on the facts: It’s easy to let our fears and anxieties exaggerate our financial problems. Take a step back and objectively assess your financial situation. What are your income sources? What are your essential expenses? Understanding where you stand financially can help alleviate some of the worry.
  2. Make a plan: A well-thought-out budget can be a powerful tool in managing financial stress. It provides a clear roadmap of how your money is distributed, helping you make informed decisions about spending and saving. Online tools like Mint or YNAB can assist in creating and managing your budget.
  3. Educate yourself: Knowledge is power. The more you understand about finances, the less intimidating they become. Numerous free online resources can help you learn about personal finance, such as Khan Academy or Investopedia.
  4. Seek professional help: If your financial worries are overwhelming, consider seeking help from a financial advisor or a credit counseling service. They can provide personalized advice and strategies to manage your financial situation.
  5. Practice self-care: Chronic worry can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies you enjoy.
  6. Stay positive: It’s important to maintain a positive outlook. Remember that financial situations can change, and setbacks are temporary.

6 Ways Money Worries Affect Your Life

Money problems and worries can significantly impact various aspects of your life. They cause stress and anxiety and can also affect your physical health, relationships, productivity, and overall quality of life.

Here are six ways financial stress can impact your life:

  1. Mental Health: Chronic financial stress can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It’s important to seek professional help if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Consider online therapy platforms like Brightside Health for accessible mental health support.
  2. Physical Health: Studies have shown that long-term stress can lead to physical health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders.
  3. Relationships: Money worries can strain relationships, leading to conflicts and misunderstandings with loved ones.
  4. Productivity: If you’re constantly worried about money, it can be hard to focus on tasks, impacting your work performance and career growth.
  5. Lifestyle: Financial stress can limit your ability to afford necessities and enjoy life, leading to a lower quality of life.
  6. Future Planning: When dealing with financial stress, it can be challenging to plan for the future, affecting your retirement savings and long-term financial stability.

To manage financial stress, taking proactive steps like creating a few monthly budgets first, building an emergency fund, and seeking financial advice is crucial. Remember, there’s no shame in reaching out for help.

Understanding Your Relationship with Money

Your relationship with money concerns more than how much you earn or spend. It involves your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors around money, which can significantly impact your financial decisions and health.

Here are some steps to better understand your relationship with money:

  1. Reflect on your beliefs: Consider your past experiences and how they’ve shaped your views on money. Do you see money as a security, power, or freedom source? Or do you associate it with stress and anxiety?
  2. Identify your habits: Are you a spender or a saver? Do you budget your money or make impulsive purchases? Understanding these habits can help you identify areas for improvement.
  3. Recognize your emotions: Money can stir up strong emotions. Recognizing these emotions and how they influence your financial decisions is crucial to improving your relationship with money. You may want to keep an evidence-based emotion journal to learn how to manage your emotions better.
  4. Set financial goals: Having clear goals can help guide your financial decisions and give you a sense of control over your money.
  5. Seek financial education: Knowledge is power. The more you understand personal finance, the better you’ll be equipped to make informed decisions. Numerous resources, such as financial blogs, podcasts, and courses, are available online.
  6. Consider professional advice: If you’re struggling with your relationship with money, consider seeking help from a financial counselor or therapist. They can provide valuable insights and strategies to improve your financial well-being.

Understanding your relationship with money is a journey, not a destination. It’s a process that requires self-reflection, patience, and, often, a change in mindset. But you can develop a healthier relationship with money with time and effort.

Be Honest With Yourself About Your Financial Loss

Facing financial loss can be a stressful and emotionally draining experience. However, being honest with yourself about your financial situation is the first step towards recovery from financial setbacks and better financial health.

Here’s how you can approach this:

  1. Acknowledge the Loss: It’s essential to acknowledge the financial loss and accept the reality of the situation. Avoiding or denying it can lead to more stress and further financial mistakes.
  2. Assess the Impact: Take time to assess the impact of the loss. Look at how it affects your current financial situation and future financial plans. This will help you understand the extent of the loss and its implications.
  3. Understand the Cause: Try to understand what led to the financial loss. Was it due to an investment gone wrong, overspending, job loss, or something else? Understanding the cause can provide valuable insights and prevent similar losses in the future.
  4. Develop a Recovery Plan: Once you’ve acknowledged and understood the loss, create a plan to recover from it. This might involve cutting back on expenses, creating a budget, increasing your income, or seeking professional financial advice.
  5. Learn and Grow: Use this experience as a learning opportunity. It can teach you valuable lessons about money management and financial resilience.

Remember, it’s okay to seek help when dealing with financial loss. Contact financial advisors, join support groups, or consider online therapy platforms for emotional support. You’re not alone in this journey; resources are available to help you navigate these challenging times.

Mistakes We Make When Letting Go of Money

Letting go of money, especially when it’s due to a loss or mistake, can be a challenging process. During this process, there are common mistakes that people often make:

  1. Ignoring the Problem: One of the biggest mistakes is avoiding the issue. It’s crucial to face your financial situation head-on, acknowledge your losses, and take steps to address them.
  2. Not Learning from the Experience: Every financial setback provides a learning opportunity. It’s important to analyze what went wrong, understand the mistakes made, and use these lessons to make better financial decisions in the future.
  3. Prolonged Self-Blame: While taking responsibility for financial mistakes is necessary, excessive self-blame can be detrimental. It’s essential to forgive yourself and focus on moving forward.
  4. Making Rash Decisions: In an attempt to recover losses quickly, you might be tempted to make hasty financial decisions. This can often lead to further financial setbacks. It’s important to take time, do your research, and make informed decisions.
  5. Not Seeking Professional Help: Financial recovery can be complex, and professional guidance can be incredibly helpful. If you’re struggling to navigate your financial situation, consider seeking help from a financial advisor.

Remember, everyone makes financial mistakes at some point. The key is to learn from these mistakes and use them as stepping stones towards better financial health.

What is financial infidelity?

Financial infidelity refers to acts of dishonesty about money matters in a relationship. This can range from hiding purchases and debts to controlling finances without the other partner’s knowledge. It’s a form of betrayal that can severely damage trust in a relationship and, in serious cases, lead to its breakdown.

For more info on financial infidelity, we suggest reading Investopedia’s article, “Financial Infidelity: When Couples Lie to Each Other About Money“.

Steps to Address Financial Infidelity

  1. Acknowledge the Issue: The first step is recognizing and admitting that financial infidelity has occurred. This involves both partners being open about their financial actions
  2. Open Communication: Create a safe space for honest dialog about money. Discuss your financial histories, attitudes towards money, and any hidden financial secrets.
  3. Understand the Cause: Try to understand what led to financial infidelity. Is it due to fear, control issues, or lack of financial knowledge? Understanding the cause can help address the root of the problem
  4. Create a Financial Plan: Develop a joint financial plan that covers all aspects of your finances, including income, expenses, debts, and savings. This promotes transparency and ensures both partners are involved in financial decisions
  5. Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling to resolve financial infidelity, consider seeking help from a financial advisor or a couples counselor. They can provide guidance and strategies to rebuild trust and improve financial communication
  6. Build Trust: Rebuilding trust after financial infidelity takes time. Consistent honesty, transparency, and positive financial behaviors over time can help restore trust

Remember, addressing financial infidelity is about fixing financial issues, rebuilding trust, and enhancing communication in the relationship.

Resilience and Financial Grief

Financial grief is a term used to describe the sorrow and distress experienced after a significant financial loss. This could be due to job loss, bankruptcy, or even a significant decline in investment value. It’s a process that often involves stages similar to those of traditional grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance

Resilience, on the other hand, refers to the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. Regarding financial grief, resilience is crucial in helping individuals cope with their loss, adapt to their new reality, and eventually recover.

Here are some steps to build resilience during financial grief:

  1. Acknowledge Your Emotions: It’s important to recognize your feelings of loss and allow yourself to grieve. Suppressing your emotions can delay the healing process.
  2. Maintain Perspective: While challenging, try to see your financial loss as a temporary setback rather than a permanent failure.
  3. Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to contact friends, family, or professionals such as therapists or financial advisors. They can provide emotional support and practical advice. You should know that there are CBT therapy resources online for free.
  4. Take Care of Your Physical Health: Regular exercise, yoga, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep can improve your mood and energy levels, enhancing overall resilience.
  5. Plan and Take Action: Develop a realistic plan to address your financial situation and take small steps toward recovery.

Building resilience in the face of financial grief is a personal journey that takes time and patience. But with the right mindset and resources, you can navigate this difficult period and emerge stronger.

Don’t Let Money Consume Your Thoughts

Money is a necessary part of life but shouldn’t consume your thoughts or dictate your happiness. If you find money worries are taking up too much of your mental space, it may be time to reassess your relationship with money and take steps toward achieving financial peace of mind.

Here’s how you can prevent money from overwhelming your thoughts:

  1. Develop a Financial Plan: Having a clear plan for your money can help reduce anxiety. This includes budgeting, setting financial goals, and planning for emergencies
  2. Educate Yourself About Money: Understanding financial concepts can empower you to make informed decisions and feel more in control of your finances
  3. Practice Mindfulness: Being present and mindful can help you focus on the things you can control and let go of unnecessary worry
  4. Seek Professional Help: If financial stress is becoming overwhelming, consider seeking advice from a financial advisor or a mental health professional
  5. Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle: Make time for activities you enjoy that help relieve stress. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle can help you keep money worries in perspective

Remember, it’s perfectly normal to have concerns about money. However, if these concerns start to consume your thoughts and affect your quality of life, it may be a sign that you need to take action to improve your financial well-being.

Talk to someone about your financial stress

Financial stress can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. Talking about your financial worries with someone can offer a fresh perspective and even lead to practical solutions.

Here’s how to approach this:

  1. Choose the Right Person: This could be a trusted friend, family member, or professional such as a financial advisor or therapist. Choose someone who is understanding, non-judgmental, and ideally knowledgeable about financial matters
  2. Prepare for the Conversation: Before the conversation, take some time to gather your thoughts and identify your main concerns. This will help you communicate your worries more clearly
  3. Be Honest and Open: Share your feelings and concerns honestly. It’s okay to admit if you’re feeling scared, overwhelmed, or unsure
  4. Ask for Advice: If you’re talking to someone knowledgeable about finance, ask for their advice. They might be able to suggest strategies or resources that you hadn’t considered
  5. Consider Professional Help: If your financial stress is causing significant distress or affecting your mental health, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. Therapists can provide coping strategies and tools to manage stress

Remember, asking friends for help when you’re stressed about money is okay. You’re not alone, and people and resources are available to support you.

What are some good ways to deal with trading losses?

Dealing with trading losses can be challenging, but here are some strategies that can help:

  1. Take a Break: After a significant loss, it’s crucial to take a step back and give yourself time to recover emotionally and mentally
  2. Acceptance: Recognize the loss as part of the trading process. Every trader experiences losses at some point, and accepting this fact is essential for your overall trading psychology
  3. Review Your Trades: Analyze your trades to understand what went wrong. This will help you learn from your mistakes and improve your trading strategy
  4. Risk Management: Implement risk management techniques in your trading, such as setting stop-loss levels on support or resistance trend lines
  5. Educate Yourself: Continuous learning is vital in trading. Read books, attend seminars, and follow experienced traders to gain more knowledge
  6. Seek Professional Advice: If you’re finding it hard to cope with the losses, consider seeking advice from a financial advisor or trading coach

Remember, resilience is key in trading. Don’t let losses discourage you. Instead, use them as a learning opportunity to become a better trader.

8 strategies to stop stressing about money

Money-related stress can be overwhelming, but there are strategies you can use to manage it:

  1. Create a Budget: Having a clear understanding of your income and expenses can help you feel more in control
  2. Build an Emergency Fund: This can provide a financial safety net and reduce anxiety about unexpected expenses
  3. Pay Off Debt: Develop a plan to pay off your debts. Consider techniques like the “snowball method” or “avalanche method”
  4. Save for Retirement: Regular contributions to a retirement account can secure your financial future and reduce long-term stress
  5. Educate Yourself: Understanding financial concepts can empower you to make informed decisions
  6. Live Within Your Means: Avoid unnecessary expenses and focus on needs rather than wants
  7. Talk About Your Financial Worries: Sharing your concerns with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor can provide emotional relief and practical solutions
  8. Practice Mindfulness: Techniques such as meditation or yoga can help reduce stress and improve your mental well-being

Remember, everyone’s financial situation is unique, so it may take some time to find the strategies only money around that work best for you.

Cut back on your expenses for some time

Reducing your expenses, even temporarily, can significantly improve your financial situation. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Track Your Spending: Understanding where your money goes can help you identify areas where you can cut back
  2. Reduce Non-Essential Spending: Consider reducing or eliminating discretionary expenses like dining out, entertainment, and luxury goods
  3. Shop Smarter: Use coupons, cash-back apps, and shop sales to save on groceries and other necessary purchases
  4. Cut Utility Costs: Lowering your thermostat, becoming more water-efficient, or switching to energy-efficient appliances can reduce your utility bills
  5. Evaluate Your Subscriptions: Cancel any unused memberships or subscriptions, and consider cheaper alternatives for the ones you do use
  6. Cook at Home: Cooking at home is typically cheaper and healthier than eating out
  7. Consider Refinancing: If you have high-interest debt, refinancing might lower your monthly payments

Remember, the goal isn’t to eliminate all spending but to make mindful decisions that align with your financial goals.

Take measures to avoid similar losses in future

Experiencing a financial loss can be challenging, but it also provides an opportunity to learn and avoid similar losses in the future. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Learn from Your Mistakes: Reflect on what led to the loss and how you can avoid making the same mistakes
  2. Create a Budget: A well-planned budget can help you monitor your spending and savings, reducing the risk of financial loss
  3. Build an Emergency Fund: This can provide a financial buffer in case of unexpected expenses, helping to prevent debt
  4. Diversify Your Investments: Spreading your investments across different asset classes can reduce risk
  5. Get Insured: Adequate insurance coverage can protect you from major financial losses due to unforeseen events like illness, accidents, or natural disasters
  6. Educate Yourself: Improve your financial literacy by reading books, attending workshops, or consulting with financial advisors

Remember, financial management is a lifelong journey. No one is immune from making mistakes, but each one offers valuable lessons that can guide your decisions.

How To Stop Thinking About Lost Money Conclusion

Learning how to stop thinking about lost money is a journey that involves understanding your emotions, adopting practical coping strategies, and taking proactive steps toward financial rebuilding.

Remember, grieving your losses is okay, but dwelling on them indefinitely can hinder your mental well-being and financial growth. Practice mindfulness and cognitive restructuring techniques to manage negative thoughts and, if necessary, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Ultimately, the goal is to overcome the pain of loss and cultivate resilience and gain wisdom from these experiences. With time, patience, and persistence, you can move beyond past losses toward a future of financial stability and peace of mind.

Many ‘stop thinking’ techniques are similar across multiple problems as well! For example, the same basic strategies also work if you can’t stop thinking about death before bed, an affair partner, lost money, past hurts, negative thoughts, breathing, and ultimately transforming your mind.

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