Do you have money on your mind? If you’re invested in the stock market, finances may adversely impact both your physical and mental health.
According to studies, daily fluctuations in stock prices have an almost immediate impact on the physical health of investors. The effect is even stronger for conditions related to mental health such as anxiety and depression.
After a relatively smooth 2017, stock market volatility has, of course, returned in 2018. Could it be impacting your mental health? Perhaps it is. Let’s take a look at five ways to stay calm during periods of market volatility.
Study Past Downturns
Generally speaking, anxiety comes from the unknown. Even if you have a basic understanding of risk, 401(k)s and the capital markets, much of your anxiety will go away.
It’s important for people to understand their investments. Investors who don’t panic and sell their stocks when the market goes down can earn back their losses within a few years. Those who view the downturns as buying opportunities benefit from huge gains during the upswings. Take time to educate yourself so you feel comfortable during market volatility.
Have an Investing Confidant
It’s helpful to have an investing colleague who you can confide in when market volatility is making you feel nervous or even depressed. Erik Gordon, CEO of ErGo Ventures LLC, a private equity and venture capital investment company, says that this person could be either a cool-headed friend or family member. Other options include joining an investment club or hiring a financial advisor. Some advisors are even trained to offer financial therapy.
Silence the Noise
Sometimes, following too much financial media can cause investors additional stress.
As evident, the stock market can be very confusing to many people. One of the reasons behind this is just to look at the breadth of information that is available to almost every investor today. One way to counteract the stress is to eliminate the noise and delegate investing to a single financial advisor. This will help keep things simple and will also set your mind at ease.
Have a Plan
Decisions should be made based on a plan rather than on emotions. A strong plan accounts for market volatility – both positive and negative – and has a strategy in place regardless of the market cycle. Make sure you have a plan, write it down, and execute it with fidelity.
Re-center on Your Long-Term Goals
Whenever you feel nervous about investing, it helps to visualize your big-picture goals. Are you saving for a child’s future college tuition? Imagine him or her proudly walking across that stage at graduation. Are you accumulating a nest egg for retirement? It helps to visualize yourself on the golf course, at the beach or checking off other fun bucket-list pursuits.
Taking on risk and stress for absolutely no reason would cause anyone anxiety. However, if you see how that 401(k) is the engine for retirement dreams, then you’ll know the sacrifice is worth it in the end.