8 Facts about the Link between Financial Stress and Health
Sixty-four percent of Americans say that money is their biggest life worry.
Some are concerned about paying medical bills while others simply need to make next month’s rent. Even more affluent people still worry that one wrong investment could bring their lives tumbling down.
The trouble is, money worries induce a domino-effect of stress and anxiety into other areas of your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to buy your first home or worried about paying off your student loans, any financial stress has surprising effects on your physical health and wellbeing.
Here are some side effects you may experience if you’re worried about finances.
- Financial Worries Cause Depression
Depression is more than just feeling sad. It causes the sufferer to feel at a complete loss and experience intense feelings of hopelessness.
If you’ve lost a zest for life you once had because of your money worries, talk to a doctor for help.
- Finance Anxiety Causes Physical Symptoms
The mental worry of finances erupts as significant physical symptoms. This can include high blood pressure, the need to fidget, excess nervous energy, and sleep deprivation.
You may also catastrophize other areas of your life as you become distracted by financial issues. You’ll imagine the worst outcome of every situation, and that can put you off leading a normal life.
- Your Weight Fluctuations Could Be From Money Worries
Some people take to eating a lot of unhealthy food to comfort themselves during times of financial worry. Others will not eat at all – either from worry that they cannot afford it, or because the stress has caused a loss of appetite.
Over even a short period of time, these stresses and changes in eating habits can affect your weight.
- You’ll Be More Sensitive to Physical Pain
A 2016 study revealed that people who feel financially unstable are more likely to experience physical pain.
Not only do financially unstable people experience pain more frequently, it is also felt to a more intense degree than those without money worries.
- You’re More Susceptible to Substance Abuse and Metabolic Syndrome
Intense life worries, such as those caused by money issues, mean you’re likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
For some people, that is alcohol or drugs, as a form of escapism. For others, it could be an unhealthy diet. A study by researchers in Finland revealed that those with significant life concerns were more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome and related issues.
- Your Blood Pressure Can Rise Due to Tight Budgets
If you feel your heart pounding in your head at the thought of the weekly grocery shop, it’s likely your blood pressure is too high.
Your heart will beat more rapidly with the anxiety caused by financial stress, and your blood pressure can rise. Take a few deep breaths if you find this happening to you, and see a doctor if your symptoms occur frequently.
- Relationship Breakdowns Due to Money Worries Cause Physical Problems
If your relationship is breaking down because you are either arguing about money or hiding your finance issues from your partner, this can show in physical symptoms.
A high blood pressure, increased anxiety, mood swings, and depressive episodes can all be caused by relationship breakdowns – as well as financial worries.
- Disturbed Sleep Patterns Have an Ongoing Impact on Your Health
When you toss and turn at night to try and work out your money worries, the impact isn’t just on your sleep.
A lack of sleep, or regularly interrupted sleep patterns, are detrimental to your health. You’ll become distracted, unable to concentrate during the day, and lack energy to complete normal tasks.
How to Manage Your Financial Concerns to Improve Your Wellbeing
There are several ways you can start to manage your financial stress and reduce the impact it has on your health.
There are many resources out there that provide useful information to help you to decide what to do with your money (or lack of it).
Debt advice charities offer free help to anybody who feels they may be struggling to cope with their financial worries, for example.
If your stress is not debt related but instead because you’re unsure how to invest, consider signing up to some information services to help you research. This energy investor newsletter, for example, provides plenty of information to help you decide whether investment in energy stocks is right for you.
Speak to an Expert
An independent financial or debt advisor will be able to help you to develop a financial plan.
Having set goals written down with the help of an expert will reduce your stress as you’ll be able to see the small steps you need to take to reach a larger goal.
Join Online Communities
There are many forums and online communities available for people with all types of financial stress.
A debt forum will help to take the loneliness out of being in debt, and reduce the social anxiety you may feel when talking about your financial difficulties. These forums will often share tips to live frugally, ways to save money, and imaginative strategies to get out of debt.
If you’re unsure what to do with your savings, or how to manage your capital and cash assets, consider talking about them with others in relevant online communities.
Remember, when you’re sharing information online, never give out any personally identifiable data or any specific financial details.
Get Your Family and Friends On Board
Having financial worries is compounded when you don’t feel comfortable talking about them with your nearest and dearest.
Debt isn’t a taboo subject anymore, and many of your friends and family will be in a similar situation to you. Talking about it openly can help to relieve stress and improve your wellbeing, as well as open up opportunities for you to help each other during difficult financial times.
Meditate and Take Time for Yourself
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with financial stress, but you need to remember to take time out for yourself.
‘Me time’ doesn’t need to cost anything, either. Spend ten minutes each day meditating, or list five things daily in a bullet journal that made you smile or feel good.
Find a way to center yourself and not get lost in your financial worries, whether that’s taking a walk around the block or people watching in a park. This will help you to take a step back from your anxieties and make a plan for the future.
Beat Your Financial Stress, and Other Stresses!
Now you know your financial stress could affect more than your bill payments and bank balance, it’s time to find ways to minimize these highly damaging feelings.
As well as finding financial solutions to your worries, check out these articles on coping mechanisms and stress relief techniques to help you overcome your anxiety and reduce physical health problems.