Tax season is upon us, and for some it can bring about some very stressful times. It creates added work, it takes time, and for some people it can end up costing quite a bit of money. While this post can’t solve all of your financial issues, it can help you decrease some of the stress and anxiety during tax season.
Set a schedule over a few days: Filing a tax return may not take multiple days, but giving yourself extra time can create a buffer for unexpected incidences, like a misplaced W-2 form or a longer-than-expected itemization.
Walk through some green space: Have stress and anxiety already struck? Take a walk through a local park or nature preserve. A recent study shows that being in green space can help reduce stress.
Utilize your senses: Use your senses to help create a calming work environment. Essential oils are a great way to diffuse aromas that can help stimulate relaxation. Incense made with frankincense has also been found to be an anxiolytic when inhaled, which may be one reason it has been used in religious ceremonies for centuries.
For vision, pick flashes of blues and greens to help calm and create happiness. "Color psychology" studies have been used by marketers to incite emotions through visual cues.
Lastly, sound. Listen to a favorite album that is linked to fond memories. This will stimulate memory recall to help put you in a good mood.
While tax season can be daunting and stressful, these are simple, easy ways to help lighten the load. If you need more help in regards to extra stress, talk to your doctor or counselor to see what extra steps might help you through tax season unscathed.
—By Stephen Phipps ND, PhD, resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.