It is not uncommon for people to have a heart attack when the stock market crashes, taking all of their money with it, because people are very attached to money. After all, we all need money to survive these days, that is why financial stress is a big part of our lives. However, studies have shown how negatively stress can destroy our health, and financial stress is at the top of the list.
The Correlation Between Money and Health
Money issues can lead to chronic depression and associated mood disorders
Scientists have been tracking human health for decades now. According to research, people who reported having migraines, cardiovascular diseases, unwarranted work absences, and insomnia, also reported having considerable financial stress. Financial stress also has an impact on mental health, according to an article published in Social Science and Medicine journal in 2013, as it can lead to chronic depression and associated mood disorders.
Researchers have also noticed a link between financial stress and metabolic syndrome, which is a group of illnesses that lead to heart conditions, diabetes, and even stroke. According to Dr. Nancy Molitor, who is an assistant professor at Northwestern University, this happens because people adopt stress coping habits that are quite unhealthy, such as smoking cigarettes. This is verified by a 2014 study conducted by the American Psychological Association where 33% Americans acknowledged eating a unhealthy diet or too much food because of stress.
Our Minds are Preoccupied by Money
In 2013, Science Journal decided to conduct another survey in a shopping mall. Shoppers were given a questionnaire and a scenario where the shopper either got a small or a large bill of car repair. Those who were given the large bill performed much worse than those who were given a smaller bill. According to Eldar Shafir, who authored the study, money occupies the mind when it becomes an issue, leaving little to no room for other cognitive tasks. This is also why people get stuck in the cycle of poverty.
As soon as money becomes a real issue, it occupies the mind and makes it produce more stress-related hormones
Dealing with Financial Stress
Dr. Molitor suggests the size of the financial crises is not important: the way it is handled is. She recommends following four ways to help you deal with financial stress for a healthier life.
– Current Situation Analysis
Have you developed bad spending habits that have gotten you to this point of financial distress? If so, it is time to identify the underlying causes behind this unnecessary expenditure and get rid of them. Your current situation is a reflection of your past choices, and your future will be determined by the choices you make today. Getting rid of bad spending habits is an excellent start!
– What Kind of Relationship Do You Have With Money?
We all spend money differently. For some, spending on necessities is enough, and the rest goes into a savings account. For others, they don’t rest until every last penny is spent. Many spend because spending provides comfort, power, or luxury. Disconnecting from this notion that money can give you a happier state of mind is a crucial step in getting out of money troubles. The less you spend, the more you save, and the more flexible your financial situation will become.
– There is No Shame in Asking for Help
What are friends for if not helping you out when you are low on cash? However, if that is not an option for you, consider approaching your local church, a financial advisor, or any community agency to ask for programs that may help you out.
– Budgeting is Important
The important thing is that the budget should be realistic, and it should not expect you to sacrifice too much. Remember, you got to this point after years of habitual spending, it is going to take some time before you get out of it
Many people avoid budgeting because it seems like a wasteful activity. Why make a budget when you are going to spend just as much anyway? Most people find it difficult to stick to the budget they’ve made and abandoned it after a couple of days. However, Dr. Molitor says that making a budget for all your expenditure is an excellent way to manage your finances, as you can get a snapshot of how much you should spend in a month, and how much you can save.
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