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October 05, 2022

How financial stress can impact your health

Mental Health Personal Finance

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Financial anxiety is a very real and common problem in the United States — especially as Americans struggle with the impacts of inflation. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Stress in America Survey, 87 percent of adults consider the rising prices of everyday items a significant source of stress.

Why money is so stressful

Everyone has different triggers when it comes to stress. In some situations, we can avoid or limit our exposure to these triggers, but money is often tied to our security. You need money to make your rent or mortgage payment, pay for your commute to work, purchase food, and cover medical costs. Being anxious about not having enough money may trigger a real sense of danger that can quickly spiral beyond just the money itself.

It's also important to remember that financial anxiety is not dependent on how much money you make. Even people who make a lot of money often worry about rising costs and what would happen if they suddenly lost their source of income.

Is financial stress impacting your health?

The physical and mental health consequences of financial stress can be significant. It is a common source of anxiety and depression and has been linked to many physical symptoms and illnesses, including headaches, sleeping issues, heart disease, and a weakened immune system. Financial anxiety can also cause people to delay seeking health care to save money and lead to unhealthy coping behaviors such as drug and alcohol misuse.

How to manage financial anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about money, focusing on your physical and mental well-being can help you manage your stress. Going for a walk or run, doing breathing exercises, and meditating can all be helpful.

For financial stress specifically, work to take control of your fears. Building a budget, for example, or working with a professional financial planner can help you feel more educated about your situation. Your job, health care provider, or even insurance company may have resources available to support your financial well-being.

Because of how essential money is in our lives, financial stress can quickly turn into a serious problem and spiral out of control. If you’re struggling financially and can’t see a way out of your current situation, know that there are resources available to help you navigate through your situation. If you’re feeling hopeless or having suicidal thoughts, call 988 or text HOME to 741741 for free and confidential support.

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