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Psychology of Money - Heart Matters


2. Stress and Personal Finance

b. Distinguish between the “big stuff” stresses and the “small stuff” stresses (continued)

Stress and the small stuff
Although it’s true that major life crises like those listed in the LCU test can seriously impact your health, your income and savings, and your ability to manage your personal finances, so too can the small things.  In his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff, Richard Carlson shows how to minimize the distress caused by the daily stressors that feel mildly annoying like a rock in your shoe (see for more information on Dr. Carlson).  Small stressors alone may not seem like they impact you very much, but when they add up, they can wreak havoc in your life. 

Your ability to cope with big and small stressors is critical for not only your health but also for your ability to behave in effective ways with your money.  One factor that greatly determines whether a stressor causes negative stress is your attitude.  And, your attitude is greatly influenced by your beliefs.  Do you see the stressor as a challenge you can meet or an overwhelming burden you can’t manage?  From what we know of people who successfully deal with daily stressors, it appears that they don’t allow small daily demands to divert their attention away from their long-term goals, their purpose in life, and life’s positive experiences.  This website has helpful information in English and Spanish for young people dealing with stress: and this one in English and Spanish might be helpful if you are older: 

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