Researchers have long known that money worries contribute to health worries.
Ongoing stress about money has been linked to migraines, heart disease, diabetes, sleep problems, and more. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to life-threatening illnesses, which can plunge you even further into debt. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), money is the top cause of stress in the United States.
A large amount of debt, a job loss or overtime reduction, medical bills, or simply being irresponsible with your spending could cause undue financial stress. This is definitely a situation you want to avoid if at all possible.
A previous survey found that 69% of workers were stressed over their finances, with fully 72% admitting to worrying about their personal finances at work, and one in three doing that more than once a week. If you are experiencing financial stress, you may find yourself experiencing one, or all, of the following:
- Worrying a lot or feeling anxious over money
- Arguing with loved ones over money
- Feeling unwell
- Being afraid to open the mail
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling guilty spending money on non-essentials
Stress hormones affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. During the stress response, you breathe faster in an effort to quickly distribute oxygen-rich blood to your body. But this in turn raises your blood pressure. As a result, frequent or chronic stress will make your heart work too hard for too long. Obviously, this is NOT good.
Not only does financial stress wreak havoc on your body, it can also wreck your relationships. According to a new survey by Ramsey Solutions, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. Results show that both high levels of debt and a lack of communication are major causes for the stress and anxiety surrounding household finances.
There are other conditions that can be either caused, or worsened, by financial stress such as:
- Heart Disease/Attack
- Gastrointestinal Problems
- Weight Gain/Loss
- Eating Disorders
- Depression/Mood Disorders
- High Blood Pressure
- Substance Abuse
The bottom line is financial stress causes both physical and mental health issues. In order to get rid of financial stress, one needs to keep a check on spending and maintain a good credit score. When your bills are paid and there are no loans, you can enjoy a stress-free and healthy life.
*Look for our future article, “Financial Stress-How To Deal With It” scheduled to publish next week.