Tax Season Can Really Turn Up The Stress
Both in our NYC financial therapy practice and out, tax season can really turn up the stress. People are overextended and tax time is one of those moments when we face that reality. It’s sort of an annual accounting of how poor our financial shape is in. In addition, taxes are mysterious and inherently confusing. So many people feel undereducated about filing their taxes. In order to address this stressful time of year as April 15th approaches, Yahoo Finance featured Tribeca Therapy in an article about how the stress during tax season can wear on your physical and mental health.
Stress Over Taxes Can Get In The Way Of Intimacy In Relationships
Citing a survey conducted by United Way Worldwide that 74 percent of millennial respondents felt stress about filing their taxes, Yahoo Finance quotes our director Matt on the ways stress can not only cause distress like insomnia or nightmares, but can also strain your interpersonal relationships. “It gets in the way of intimacy,” said Matt. “The kinds of conditions that are necessary for intimacy are feelings of safety and calm. It’s not just sexual intimacy, but all sorts of intimacy–where you’re able to connect with your kids and be present at the dinner table.”
We Need To Make Emotional Peace With Taxes (And Not Procrastinate)
At least in the United States, we don’t relate to taxes as an expense that we owe, but rather, well, a tax, like something outside the cost of our lives. This may be a mistake for a lot of reasons, including politically (that this is money we exchange for goods and services from various governmental entities).
On emotional terms, though, relating to taxes as a cost of citizenship, of being in business, and using public resources might change how we relate to the stress of taxes overall. The stress exists because there are two opposing forces pulling against one another: the need to pay taxes in order to be able to participate in the economy and the desire to not pay them because we hate them. However, the task to lessen stress is to make emotional peace with taxes so that the execution of them can become merely an administrative task.
And one key way to make the execution less stressful is to not procrastinate, which doesn’t help lessen stress. Procrastination, as Matt explained in the article, “is the worst possible idea…I think it just buries it deeper in the ground, and I don’t think it actually makes it any better.”