Money4 Steps to avoid taking financial decisions like the...

4 Steps to avoid taking financial decisions like the Hulk

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Depending on your relationship with money, you might find yourself in a constant self-sabotaging pattern of reacting to financial stress with the animal part of your brain – the hypothalamus. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

That is the same way the Hulk, Bruce Banner’s alter ego in the Marvel Cinematic Universe responds to financial stress as well.

All of us have the hypothalamus, which some researchers refer to as the animal part of our brain because it controls our emotions and emotion-related impulses. For many people, this part of their brain takes over any time they make financial decisions or come under financial stress.

Everyone experiences financial stress at some point in time in their lives

In fact, it is stated that a predominant cause of mental health issues is financial stress – The Money and Health Public Institute. Here are 4 steps to gain control over your Financial Hulk when financial.

Identify your triggers

The Hulk thrives when he gets angrier. The angrier he gets, the stronger he gets – Well, until he meets Thanos :). It’s understandable that the Hulk is constantly angry, what is strange though is how Bruce Banner can’t seem to control his anger and is easily provoked.

What makes you lose control over your money impulses? Do you spend more when you are anxious, disappointed, depressed, excited, angry, bored or stressed? Knowing what sends you down the wasteful spiral of unbudgeted expenses is the first step to gaining control.

Control your blood (money) pressure

Natasha Romanov, The Black Widow, would every so often calm the Hulk down and get him to change back to Bruce Banner by gently touching his hand and telling him “The sun’s getting really low”.

Once you identify the triggers, it becomes important not to react as you would normally. Money stress induces similar impulses in our brain as regular stress. Catch your breath. Do not do anything immediately. Do not use your credit or debit card. Play some music. Watch a movie. Read a book. Meditate. Visualize yourself doing the opposite of what you would normally do under financial stress. Discuss with a friend or accountability partner.

Keep moving in the other direction

One strategy that always seemed to work for the Hulk when he wanted to calm down was to flee the source of his aggravation. Practice moving in the other direction. If staying online during financial stress causes you to go to e-commerce stores, stay offline for a while. Rather than go window-shopping, take a hike in the woods.

Take out your investment goals and review them. You can draw positive motivation from going over the goals you have set for positive money behaviour and the fulfilment of your dreams when you achieve them.

Trust Bruce, let him handle it.

We need to hand back the reins to our rational brain. Our rational brain drew the investment plan at the start of the year, set our money goals, developed a plan of action to go through financial stress.

Bruce Banner is the rational brain of the Hulk. Bruce Banner is the genius scientist, extremely organised and compassionate. Bruce knows what to do. The 3 steps before this are simply handing-over processes. They help to suppress the Hulk, so that Bruce Banner can be in control.

Don’t get overwhelmed by stressful financial situations. Speak with professional financial planners if you must. Don’t forget, even Bruce Banner needs Natasha Romanov sometimes to keep the Hulk under control.

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