How Financial Stress Impacts The Body & Why It’s Time To Take It Seriously

Last updated on : February 11 2022

Money

Money And Stress

Money has always been one of the significant stressors for people worldwide. We can never seem to have enough of it, and making more is sometimes easier said than done. 

Financial stress has become an even bigger issue for many during recent years, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to reduce their workforce or close their doors altogether, leaving many people wondering how to make ends meet.

When money runs short, it can impact many parts of our lives. In addition to not paying the bills, financial stress can also negatively affect our physical and mental health. When that happens, many people try to cope negatively, making the situation worse. 

We are here to help. We have compiled a list of tips for feeling better, living better, and improving your financial situation without causing additional harm.

Why Financial Problems Occur

Financial stress typically doesn't come about suddenly. Instead, it is likely the result of ongoing issues over a long period. Sometimes, it is due to no fault of your own, like when your family grows, but there is no change in your income, and you need to figure out how to support everyone under your roof. 

However, in many other cases, financial problems occur because individuals aren't intelligent about the money they have coming in.

Some people are financially disorganized. They get their paycheck, and they don't have a predetermined plan for spending it, so they quickly go through their earnings and then suddenly realize that they are not ready when rent or a utility bill is due. 

If people remain unorganized for an extended period, they can collect a lot of debt, and that can be a challenging hole to climb out of, which is why many paychecks are often spent the moment they arrive in our bank accounts.

Of course, sometimes financial stress can occur due to unexpected circumstances, like losing a job or incurring damage to your house from a natural disaster. 

It can be tough to deal with these issues, but you must find a pathway out of the adverse circumstance, or else the problem will continue to get bigger and impact your life and the lives of your family in more significant ways. 

How Stress Negatively Affects Our Health

When we find ourselves in difficult financial situations, it is easy to get stressed. Everyone experiences anxiety at one time or another. And, if you don't try to make a change or improve your situation, then this stress can quickly begin to impact your physical and mental health.

1. Physical Stress

From a physical standpoint, ongoing stress can harm just about every part of your body, and you can experience anything from tense muscles to rapid breathing. 

When you feel ongoing anxiety, the control tower of your brain called the hypothalamus sends out stress hormones that trigger your fight or flight response. 

Essentially, these hormones put your body into a panic mode, which is why your heart rate begins to quicken, your blood pressure starts rising, and your breathing becomes more erratic. 

This phenomenon is meant to help you when you are in a dangerous situation - but if you experience these feelings day after day, it will start to cause escalating issues, like a weakened immune system. 

If that happens, you may find yourself getting sick more often, or you could be at risk of severe health conditions, including the possibility of high blood sugar, heart attack, and intense headaches. 

Stress can also impact your body in ways you never thought possible, and even your eyesight could be at risk

When we experience anxiety, that fight or flight response also affects our pupils, and they will dilate to allow more light to see potential threats better. 

Again, this response is helpful for sudden dangers - but if it happens every day, that adrenaline will constantly impact your eyes. It could lead to blurred vision and potentially to more severe vision issues down the road, including glaucoma macular degeneration, among other ailments.

Read MoreHow Your Home's Interior Design Can Affect Your Stress Levels

2. Mental Stress

Constant financial stress can also impact our mental health. When you feel continuous anxiety, your brain begins to work overtime as you try to solve your issues. If you cannot make a positive change, you could experience depression. 

Mental stress can also lead to sudden behavioral changes, such as flashes of anger, changes in eating habits, or even alcohol dependence. When these issues occur, they can put additional strain on your relationships. And if you do begin spending more money on drugs and alcohol, it will only worsen your financial situation. 

If everything described here wasn't enough, your problems could further be compounded if you are experiencing pain and know that you need to go to a doctor, but you can't afford healthcare, so you don't get the help you need. 

It can be a never-ending cycle that won't end well. It is time to take these issues seriously.

Read More - 5 Ways To Find Inner Peace When The World Is On Fire

He is reading a book

Improve Your Financial Situation

When you have finally reached the point where you know you need to make a change, you should first look at improving your financial situation. 

To start, you need to gain a complete picture of your finances to make the applicable changes, and you can do that by creating a budget.

Write down every source of income you have coming in, and then make a comprehensive list of every expense and payment you make every month. That includes rent, utilities, and all recurring costs, including your cable, streaming services, groceries, gas for your car, and anything else that you buy regularly. 

Carefully check your bank statements as there could be reoccurring costs automatically withdrawn from your account that you have since forgotten about and need to include in your budget.

Once you have your budget, look at what you can cut out. 

Do you need cable and all of those streaming services? The chances are that you can get rid of one or the other and still enjoy all of your favorite shows. 

Do you find that your coffee and lunch costs are through the roof because you go out to eat every day? If so, consider making your coffee and lunch at home, and you'll save a bundle. 

While it is essential to cut costs, you also don't want to eliminate everything that makes you happy. Remember to budget a bit for yourself every month and leave some cash for that one dinner out per week or your regular trip to the nail salon.

If you do not have any wiggle room between your income and your expenses, you may have to consider finding a side hustle that you can do during your downtime that will increase your incoming cash flow. 

In today's small world, there are many jobs that you can do on the side, from freelance writing and tutoring students online to driving for food service or selling your crafts on eBay. 

Think about what you are good at and research online to see how you can turn that into an effective second job.

Then Eliminate Your Stress

While you now have an idea for how to eliminate your financial stress, it will not happen overnight, so while you are improving your situation, you should also practice a bit of self-care to try to rid your body of that excess stress.

The first thing you need to do is ensure that you get enough sleep. Doctors recommend seven to nine hours of sleep a night as that duration will allow you to get the rest you need and wake up feeling refreshed in body and mind. 

If your financial situation is causing you to toss and turn, you may need to modify your sleep schedule. Start by ensuring that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, as that will improve your circadian rhythm. 

Also, avoid looking at your phone or watching TV right before bed, as the blue light that those devices emit can block the hormones that make you sleepy.

It is also essential to take care of your physical health during this time, and in addition to eating a healthy diet, you should also exercise every week. 

Try to incorporate 20 minutes of moderate exercise every morning when you wake up, which could include a combination of running or walking with some light weights. Working out will help your immune system stay strong, in addition to giving you natural energy for the day. 

Finally, it is crucial to keep a healthy mind as well. 

Sleep and exercise will put you on the right track, but you should supplement those activities with some form of meditation or yoga, which will help you stay centered so you can take on the day's issues. 

You can also help yourself feel better in this regard by getting outside for hikes and other activities you enjoy. Volunteering at local organizations can also make you feel much better and help you to put things into perspective.

Conclusion

In the end, you cannot ignore financial stress because the less you do to combat these issues, the more dangerous it will be for your body, mind, and family. 

Consider the advice and tips discussed here, and seek professional help if necessary. 

Don't forget to share on Pinterest.

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