It seems like there's more bad news about the economy every day. Stock values are plummeting, some people owe more money for their home than it's worth, and big banks are going under. So it's no wonder that almost everyone is worried about their bank accounts; in fact, a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 80 percent of Americans said their biggest worry is money and half of them report having symptoms such as raised blood pressure, disturbed sleep, and a weakened immune system due to the stress.

Clearly those who are concerned about finances are not alone, and if you're looking to relieve some anxiety, follow these seven tips.

1. Identify what worries you.

Keep a journal or a blog about your thoughts and concerns. Sometimes just getting your thoughts out can be freeing. Or write down your expenses, and figure out where you can cut. When you see it all on paper, you may be shocked, for example, by how much you spend on eating out. Figuring out where you indulge will help identify where to cut back.

2. Talk about it.

Don't suffer in silence. Research conducted by Wesley Mission found that 54 percent of people polled did not seek help or talk to anyone about their financial pressures. It may help you to find others who are in or have gotten through a similar situation to find out how they've coped. Or just use the conversation to get your mind off your problems for a little while. Not sure who to talk to? Try connecting through QH's Stress Management Support Group or Anxiety & Mental Health Support Group. You might also find support groups in your community or place of worship.

3. Don't cancel.

Studies have shown that when money's tight, patients who have been seeing therapists for issues, like depression, are more likely to cancel their appointments. While this may seem like a solution to the financial concerns, it can have negative long-term effects on your well-being. Ask if your therapist offers a sliding scale payment schedule. Plus, some universities and community clinic may also offer services at a reduced rate. If you're unsure where to look, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a list of mental health providers: call 1-800-969-6642 or visit the website at

4. Exercise.

Go for a run or brisk walk. Exercising releases endorphins and produces increased levels of serotonin, both of which are proven to lower your stress levels and make you feel more at ease. Best of all, a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood is completely free.

5. Don't self-medicate.

The APA study shows that it's common to cope with stress by smoking, drinking, or indulging in poor eating habits. The report found that 43 percent of people said they overate, and 36 percent said they skipped a meal due to stress. Among smokers, two-thirds said they smoked more when they were stressed, and 17 percent said they drank more because of stress. If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline at 1-800-821-4357.

6. Volunteer.

Helping out at local community or religious organizations may be a good way to prevent you from dwelling on your own problems. It's a good way to feel like you're contributing and making a difference in other people's lives, which is sure to have a positive effect on your stress level.

7. Keep perspective.

Although the situation probably seems dire, you will come out of it stronger. The APA cautions against overreacting. Remember to take some time for yourself to read a book, watch a movie, pray, or just relax. The situation that's causing you stress won't disappear, but stepping away from it may help bring clarity and new insights on how to cope. Take care of yourself, too, by eating right, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep.