Persistent worries over money can change your appetite and your sleep patterns; even prevent you from seeing a doctor. In fact, financial stress could be affecting your health in ways you never imagined.
Financial pressure affects us all at some point, whether we’re worried about our investment portfolio or how we’ll pay this month’s rent. Stress is a risk factor for numerous chronic diseases and can prevent you from adequately caring for your health, so minimizing it should be a top priority. When you’re under stress, your body experiences immediate short-term effects, such as the release of cortisol, memory and concentration suppression, increased heart rate and blood pressure, faster breathing and a reduction in metabolism. In the long-term, stress is known to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, digestive problems and sexual dysfunction. It can lead to unhealthy weight loss or gain, skin problems, sleep issues, increased pain and the exacerbation of chronic diseases like diabetes.
Stress management is key; Find out where you stand financially. Get to the root of the problem.
Money stress is pretty vague. What exactly are you stressed about? An intimidating amount of debt? Worried that your income doesn’t cover your costs? Scared that there might be an emergency you can’t afford?
Once you identify the problem, you can start taking steps (baby steps!) to fix it.
For those experiencing severe psychological distress, a counselor can deal with stress on an ongoing basis. I also recommend that patients exercise three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes. Exercise releases brain chemicals called endorphins, which makes us feel good and lowers blood pressure and symptoms of depression.
Laughing lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts endorphins, which help your mood. Find something that makes you laugh hard and often.
The weight of financial stress can be considerable, with long-term health effects. Lifting such a heavy burden requires not just sound money management, but also successful stress management.