Concern about the state of your finances is very unsettling, and it can have a deep effect on your physical and mental wellbeing. Just how much deep can the damage go and what can you do about it?
How it affects your physical health
Financial worry causes stress – and stress is hugely detrimental to your physical wellbeing. The link then between financial stress and your physical health is hard to understate. When you’re stressed your body interprets the situation as a threatening, fight-or-flight scenario. Adrenaline and cortisol are released, and these hormones can supress immune, digestive, sleep and reproductive systems, which, if sustained, may cause them to stop working normally. Coping with constant anxiety can be challenging and can lead to issues such as alcohol and drug abuse.
How it affects your mental health
Stress also leads to the deterioration of your mental health. When your financial situation is poor, the psychological impacts can be just as damaging as the physical. Feelings of failure and doubt have the potential to turn into real mental illnesses. Studies show that 46 per cent of people in the UK with money issues also suffer from a mental illness. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common problems that can occur with financial stress. Depression can emerge from feelings of shame while suffering from financial problems. Meanwhile, anxiety can leave people in a constant state of fear as a result of their financial worry. Reaching out to friends or family, or a mental health service is crucial if you feel like financial worries are harming your mental health.
What can you do to improve the situation?
Solving the root issue of the financial problems is the best place to start. If you speak with an experienced financial advisor, you can begin to plan a way out of your problems – suddenly you can feel like there’s a path towards easing the situation. Talking about money can feel like a taboo, but the problem should lessen by discussing it.
You could also try and create a buffer against financial stress. Emergency savings can alleviate your fears about what might happen in a disastrous situation.
You can also automate some financial decisions. Perhaps you could pay off your phone bill automatically each month rather than doing it manually. That way you won’t have to encounter the stress of going through mountains of bills at the end of the month.
Overall, finances clearly have an impact on our physical and mental welfare. By being aware of the links, we can begin to improve our wellbeing though. Follow the above advice and take care of yourself to alleviate these worries.