How to Fight Financial
Anxiety as Tax Time Approaches

Written by Expert Arundhati Dutta

As tax deadlines loom large, this time of the year can become unduly anxiety-provoking for many. Tax filing often triggers deep-seated financial insecurities, which in turn can lead to the anxiety overflowing into other areas of our life such as work, relationships, friendships etc. The good thing is that with some advance planning, much of the anxiety can be eliminated.

The first step to addressing the anxiety is identifying it. It might sound simple but most people fail to identify what is causing them anxiety. Once you are able to identify that your finances and the tax deadlines are triggering anxieties, you can set out to take specific measures to deal with it.

Secondly, organize yourself. If you haven't put your tax documents together yet, start doing so now. Even taking small steps towards an issue of concern can greatly reduce the stress associated with it.

Thirdly, focus on laying out small, reasonable goals. Creating a plan of action and listing out specific steps can really help to make our concerns more manageable. Sometimes anxiety can lead us to push things under the carpet and make our problems seem even bigger than they are, leading us to procrastinate more and more. Setting small goals helps us address our anxiety in a powerful way.

Fourth, and this is something that most of us tend to forget, fear and anxiety actually play an important role in alerting us to things we need to do, that we need to take care of. So in that sense, our anxiety and fears can become powerful tools in making us focus on work that needs to be done. But as we all know, undue anxiety and worry are not conducive to our productivity or our efficiency. So focusing on the message that our anxiety is giving us but at the same time not letting it cause us excess worry can be really helpful.

Finally, an important thing is to remember is that you do not have to take it all upon yourself. Help is always available. Whether it is a counselor/therapist you might want to speak to for your anxieties or a financial advisor to help with the tax filing, don't hesitate to seek professional help if you need to. Online forums, meet-up groups or even family and friends with whom you can discuss your situation can also become valuable support sources.

In conclusion, this time of the year can be especially hard, but by planning ahead and adopting the strategies above, much of our anxiety can be reduced. Reminding yourself that you're not alone, that there are others in a similar boat, and that help is always round the corner can really make a big difference.

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