Stress can be one of the main problems that many people suffer, due to the pressures of life and work, or even due to romantic relationships. But financial stress is also one of the most common and growing forms of stress in the world.
Most adults worry about money at some point in their lives. Managing their finances can make them feel overwhelmed, especially if the income does not match the house expenses, debts or a lot of expenses and premiums.
But what many do not know is that financial stress is associated with many health problems and also has an impact on mental and emotional health.
What is financial stress or tension and how does it differ from regular anxiety?
According to the American Psychological Association, financial stress is particularly emotionally related to money.
Anyone can experience financial stress from time to time, but it can happen on a larger scale when incomes are low and insufficient to meet your needs, such as paying rent, paying bills and buying groceries.
Low income people may experience additional stress due to their job. Their jobs may lack flexibility when it comes to taking free time. They may work in uncomfortable environments, but are afraid to leave, as they will not be able to afford themselves while looking for another job.
Also, low-income people may not have the resources to manage their financial stress, such as universal health insurance.
And if your financial stress is severe, you may experience negative effects on your mental health and possibly even your physical health.
What are the symptoms of financial stress?
According to the Better Up website, the symptoms of financial stress are similar to those of anxiety and other types of stress. Here are the highlights:
Breathing and rapid heartbeat when you think about money.
Avoid phone calls and mail.
Canceling social plans and avoiding friends.
Feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
Feel like you are losing control of your money.
Anger or annoyance with people interfering with your finances, e.g. a family member with whom you share bills.
Anxiety or despair about the future.
Financial stress can cause you sleep problems and weight worries
Since financial stress is usually a form of chronic stress, its impact on your health can be severe. According to Psychcentral, people with financial stress typically experience the following problems:
Sleep problems: You may suffer from insomnia or stay awake at night due to money worries.
Neglecting Health and Fitness: Due to concerns about money, you can reduce or give up some of your self-care routines; To save money. This may include not going to the gym or avoiding eating with friends, doctor visits or recreational activities.
Weight loss or weight gain: Stress can make you overeat and use food as a way to calm or release negative feelings, known as emotional eating.
But sometimes, you may find that stress completely suppresses your appetite or can upset your eating habits, such as skipping meals, which leads to weight loss.
Pain, unexplained pain and physical health problems: The effects of stress can manifest as physical symptoms like headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure and stomach problems as well.
Financial stress also has negative effects on your mental health
Chronic financial stress also affects mental and emotional health. In fact, its symptoms can be so severe that they mimic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The stress of money matters can have long-term negative effects on mental health, especially for those with a health condition or mental disorder.
For example, financial stress can lead to obsession or depression in people with bipolar disorder.
According to Science Direct, research based on a research review of 40 studies that examined the relationship between financial stress and depression shows that there may be a link between feelings of financial stress and depression even in healthy people.
Financial stress can also have a negative effect on relationships. Economic stress – such as low incomes, job losses, difficulty paying bills or finding affordable housing – can increase conflict and tension between married couples, according to a 2021 US study.
3 tips to cope with financial stress
If you are feeling financially stressed, the first thing you need to do is deal with the stressful feelings. Anxiety tends to rob us of our sense of self-control and our ability to find solutions. Here are some ways to combat financial stress:
1. Try to calm yourself down when you feel stressed
You may not change your financial situation in a minute or two, but you can certainly change your outlook and stress level immediately. Relax with a snack, drink a glass of water or take a few deep breaths. If you need to express your financial concerns, share what you are going through with a close friend or family member.
2. Create an appropriate financial plan and budget
Financial pressures often keep us from dealing with our finances, bank accounts and everything related to money.
However, you can regain control by identifying what is stressing you out and creating a plan that matches your financial expenses and obligations. Try to think of different ways to manage expenses and increase revenue sources.
3. Practicing meditation can help relieve the symptoms of stress
Dealing with financial stress is a two-pronged challenge. There is planning for expenses and income, and then there is coping with stress.
Performing meditation exercises, such as breathing or yoga, is a great way to combat feelings of anxiety.