Rising prices, economic instability, and job loss are just a few reasons why Americans are stressed out and unable to pay bills. The threat of bankruptcy, financial ruin, and an inability to provide for your family may actually make you sick, according to research on money worries and the lingering recession. Learning how to deal with financial stress will protect your health when you need it the most.
Initial Problems from Financial Stress
If you've got money problems you probably spend a lot of time thinking about how you're going to get your bills paid, where you'll get the rent money, or how you'll put gas in the tank next week. These worries lead to sleepless nights and insomnia.
If you don't get enough sleep your body's immune system may suffer, and you'll get sick more often. The last thing someone with financial problems needs is to get sick from sleep deprivation and require extra medical care.
Startling Research on Financial Stress
The "Great Recession" lingers on in the financial health of many Americans. Surveys conducted during the recession revealed that people suffered from all sorts of health ailments due to financial problems. Research conducted by a psychologist in 2008 suggests that high debt stress is to blame for the following problems:
- Back pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle tension
Shockingly, a small percentage of respondents to the survey even reported suffering heart attacks because they were so worried about debt. Learning how to deal with financial stress could actually save your life and prevent a heart attack.
Further research by a financial services provider suggested that 35% of people surveyed had experienced physical changes to their body due to financial stress or knew someone who had. Problems that people reported included changes in weight due to stress eating or loss of appetite.
Financial Stress and Mental Health
Mental health experts say it's important to recognize symptoms of emotional distress connected to financial problems. Signs of emotional distress may include drastic changes in mood, extra time spent in bed, and excessive negative thoughts.
Learning how to deal with financial stress is best accomplished with a plan to reduce debt; however, there are also a few ways to reduce stress immediately. For example, getting in shape or adding exercise to a daily routine can reduce depression by boosting serotonin levels.
Tips for Lowering Stress
- Don't suffer alone. Taking on the burden of money problems without the emotional support of family creates extra stress. Work together to improve your financial future.
- Make a budget. You might want to ignore your budget, but doing so will only increase your stress level and make it difficult to crawl out from under debt.
- Face the hard choices. Selling a car and downsizing an apartment are difficult choices to make, but facing those sources of debt head-on will help you to reclaim your financial health.
- Speak with a professional. Speaking with a counselor may help to reduce stress. Speaking with a lawyer may help clarify the best way to reduce debt.
- Become an optimist. It's hard to put a smile on your face when your financial problems overwhelm you, but don't discount the health benefits of positive thinking.
Each month as reserves dwindle and bills get harder to pay, the stress in your financial life starts to take its toll on your immune system, mental health, and resilience. It's essential that you take steps to reduce stress and debt to protect your health and the welfare of your family. Learning how to deal with financial stress starts with taking control of your financial future.
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DISCLAIMER: All information on this website are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as legal advice. Suburban Legal Group PC shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.