Are the markets stressing you out? How to manage… – UBS
It's impossible to completely eliminate stress from our lives, nor do we want to. Being stressed out about something means we care about it. But we never want stress to overwhelm us. In a recent UBS Conversations podcast, host Dan Cassidy spoke with Lindsey Troxell from Janus Henderson Investors about managing our stress by managing our minds.
Knowing the limitations of what we can control is vitally important. (ddp)
Over the last few years, many of us have been impacted by stress from unprecedented or unanticipated sources or series of events. How to best navigate those stressful periods or occurrences in both our personal and professional lives comes as a real challenge to many.
“Stress has both a physiological as well as a psychological attribute to it, meaning both our bodies and our minds experience stress,” Troxell, Senior Director, Knowledge Labs Professional Development at Janus Henderson Investors, says.
“When we feel stress, the actions that we take are what cause our outcomes. So when we feel stress, for example, we may overheat, or we might favor some foods that are linked to an outcome of high blood pressure, heart disease, or even obesity. When we feel stressed, we may stay up past our bedtime. We might binge-watch Netflix or doomsday scroll social media. All leading us to a result of insomnia or lack of focus and energy the following day.”
However, the good news is that it’s not actually recent market activity, global events or the pandemic that cause our stress, but rather what we’re choosing to think about those events.
Troxell says it’s really important for us to take your own inventory and ask yourself questions.
She suggests asking yourself: What are some of your own stress triggers? What are the warning signs that stress is high or on the rise? And what are the negative behaviors that you have in response to those warning signs?
She also likes to consider what happens when that stress goes unmanaged for too long. And then finally, what are the things that have helped recharge or reset in the past?
Troxell says those questions are really helpful to build your own inventory of responses that can potentially help you to recognize your own patterns.
Janice Henderson Investors partnered with the Financial Planning Association and Investopedia to release a study on what was keeping financial professionals and investors up at night. The research showed that 63% of investors and 71% of financial professionals were experiencing moderate or high levels of negative stress.
“The fact is we can’t actually manage the circumstances that are outside of our control as individuals. One can argue that we can’t manage things like the stock market, the pandemic response, what we did or didn’t do in the past, or even what’s happening with our boss or kids,” Troxell says.” As a society, we’ve really been conditioned to believe that those outside events are the source of our stress. So instead of looking inward at what we can manage, we try to control the outside world with very little success, leading us to feel more stress.”
Knowing the limitations of what we can control is vitally important.
How to respond to stress
Doing nothing about stress is a common, but not necessarily the correct, course of action. Troxell suggested some best practices when it comes to managing stress.
“Responding rather than reacting implies that we’re using our prefrontal cortex or our human brain to decide how we want to interpret what’s happening. The problem is when we react from our primitive brain, it sometimes doesn’t know the difference between what’s mildly uncomfortable versus actually dangerous.”
“Let’s use stock market [volatility] as an example. So there’s, some ups and downs in the normal ebb and flow of what happens in the market, right? When the stock market goes down, if we react from our primitive brain because we’ve interpreted that dip as threatening, we might be inclined to ignore our financial plan and pull money out of the market before it has a chance to recover.”
“However, if instead of reacting from our primitive, instinctual brain, we learn to move ourselves into our prefrontal cortex, our rational thinking brain. We might then decide based on experience and reasoning that this is just what markets do and therefore we follow our financial plan—and we ignore the market.”
We all have the potential to experience stress. However, we also have the ability to manage that stress if we choose. The way we do that is by managing our mind.
For more suggestions and solutions from the ‘Managing Stress for Success’ program, listen to the full UBS Conversation podcast. The discussion also features best practices when it comes to managing stress and the ‘mastery formula’ used in order to achieve sustainable results from stress management practices.
Main contributor: Joe Melvin
For much more, listen to the podcast – Managing Stress for Success: How to identify and manage stress.
Please note that this item is approved for use with clients and prospects.
(For Public Distribution)
Approval date: 9/12/2022
Review Code: IS2205111
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