Why do financial stresses rob us of peace of mind? How do we protect our health? | Lifestyle

The financial pressures we face are “malignant” compared to other life pressures, as they can affect every aspect of our lives. We simply need money to live. We need it to pay our bills on time, put food on the table every day, and enjoy life without the pressure of material obligations bearing down on us every night.

According to recent studies, financial status affects health regardless of social class, whether the stress we feel is caused by work, relationships, health care, accident, bereavement, disability or lack of resources. Financially, the body simply reacts the same way to any type of stress.

What do the studies say?

According to Psychology Today, experts have discovered that financial stress is a psychological stress that leads to a systemic response in the body, and this happens through biological pathways that connect psychological responses to the immune, nervous and endocrine systems, a field of study called neuroimmunology Mental.

According to a recent study conducted in 2022 and published in the scientific journal “Science Direct”, individual financial conditions affect immunity and neuroendocrine glands, and these effects were found to be immediate and last for a period of 4 years, proving that financial pressures have long-term effects on biological processes and thus on public health.

A survey conducted in the United States of America published in March 2022 and involving more than 3,000 adults also found that 90% of respondents said that money was a source of stress for them, and about two-thirds of respondents said that they could not overcome financial problems. the difficulties they faced accumulate, without 40% taking any steps to secure their financial future.

On the other hand, data collected by the United States Health Survey in 2019 on more than 6,700 men and women revealed that money is the number one source of stress, as 52% of them confirmed that financial problems were pressing. regularly, even before the Corona pandemic shook them Labor market Inflation in the United States is at a record high.

According to the Government of Canada website, for many Canadians, financial concerns are the biggest source of stress compared to work, personal health and relationship concerns. The survey found that 48% of Canadians have lost sleep because of financial problems, and 44% say it will be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paychecks are late.

Financial worries are the biggest source of stress compared to worries about work, personal health and relationships (Shutterstock)

Financial stress is bad for health

Research shows that this type of anxiety and financial stress can harm our health, says Ashley Agnew – who leads coaching and financial treatment services at Centerpoint Advisors Group in the US state of Massachusetts – in an article published by the Everyday Health website. (Everyday Health) Finances affect many aspects of life, including health and opportunity, and many financial stresses take a heavy toll on emotional well-being.

These are the most prominent effects resulting from financial stress:

  • very toxic: Agnew says one of the reasons financial stress is so toxic is that that kind of stress is exhausting. All those things.
  • Complex trauma: Alex Melkomian, a financial psychologist and founder of the Center for Financial Psychology in Los Angeles, says that when someone suffers from financial stress, they feel like they have nowhere to turn without experiencing stress or trauma, and over time, having a lot of financial stress can lead – Especially in combination with the lack of sleep that such stress can cause – complex trauma.
  • Low level of well-being: Research shows that adults who experience significant financial stress, such as paying bills late, being unable to afford basic necessities, or deteriorating financial status, report higher levels of psychological distress and lower levels of psychological well-being.
  • Depression: Financial stress is associated with depression at all income levels, although it is stronger for those with lower incomes.
Too much financial stress can have long-term physical consequences (Pixels)
  • Sleep problems: One of the ongoing effects of financial stress for some is disrupted sleep or insomnia. Lack of sleep is one of the main signs that we are out of balance. It’s our bodies’ way of sounding the alarm that something is wrong.

In this context, a large national-level data set in Australia found that people living in areas with high unemployment or economic hardship at the individual level slept less than people in areas with low unemployment or no financial hardship.

  • Financial stress and chronic diseases: A lot of financial stress can have long-term physical consequences, because the stress itself starts a chain of physical reactions, speeds up the heartbeat, tenses the muscles, speeds up breathing, due to increased levels of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, and if this reaction is chronic as it is. A case of financial pressures can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, muscle pain and other problems.

How to avoid financial pressures that threaten your health?

Avoiding financial stress is not about making a lot of money, but about achieving financial well-being, which means feeling secure in your financial affairs even if you have little money, so that lack of money does not become a thing that confuses your thoughts and emotional health.

Financial well-being means being in control of your day-to-day financial affairs and having the freedom to make decisions that help you enjoy life, while also being able to absorb financial shocks and achieve your financial goals.

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