Is money and the lack of it causing you stress? You are not alone. Financial stress is rampant in our society and there are studies that shed some light on the gravity of this problem. It may not be pretty obvious but the guy next to you could be a part of the following statistic.
A survey by the American Psychological Association found that 81% of Americans point out money as a significant source of stress in their lives.
Another survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 61% of Americans report having serious financial problems. In a survey of 45,000 American workers, 71% said they would have trouble meeting their financial obligations if their pay were delayed for just one week.
It is an unsurprising truth that money is a negative stressor. In fact, we may have undergone such stress caused by financial matters at many points in our lives. A serious illness, a job loss or a pay cut, plus calls from collection agencies — all these coupled by poor pay and increasing workloads could take a toll in our overall wellness.
Financial stress, like many other forms of stress, affects us negatively. Stress weakens our immunity making us vulnerable to illnesses, which in turn lead to more financial woes in the form of medical bills. It has been proven by the medical community to cause headaches, chest pains, fatigue, sleep problems and low levels of sex drive. It causes anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and feelings of sadness. When you’re stressed, you tend to overeat, experience bursts of anger and social withdrawal. If not managed, stress can cascade to every aspect of our lives.
Many people are now taking stock of their lives and making the decision to regain control by managing the stress caused by financial worries. Many are now taking responsibility of their financial wellness by confronting the source of the problem and taking the right steps to manage it.
Managing financial stress can give us numerous health benefits. But how do we achieve such benefits? Below are some tips.
The First Step on How to Manage Financial Stress is to Avoid Additional Debt
Confront the problem
Evaluate your financial life. Why is money causing stress right now? Do you have huge debts that are eating up your income? Find ways to reduce or restructure your debt.
Are you living paycheck to paycheck with the prospect of retiring someday becoming even more bleak? Find out where your money goes by setting up a budget and listing down your expenses.
Financial wellness starts when you finally decide to have a strong resolve to deal with your financial worries. When you set your own financial well-being as a goal to achieve, solutions start to appear from everywhere. Your mind opens up to opportunities and assistance from loved ones and organizations that care about your financial welfare. If you feel stressed-out about your finances, we suggest you take the time to stop, think and decide to deal with your problem head on.
Do what you can do now and worry later
Take actions that can help reduce your stress starting today. Learn everything you can about personal finance through books, blogs, and seminars. But do understand that Financial Wellness is a process so take comfort in the fact that you will be soon on your way to having the peace of mind you have been longing for. Start saving – however small that is – for your emergency fund. Pay your creditors and collectors or simply seek professional help from companies who will directly deal with them. That way, you will reduce stress caused by aggressive collection calls.
Declutter: Less is more
Are you living a clutter-filled life? Are you spending a lot on material things? Truth is, the simpler your life, the less stress you will have. The more you love to accumulate stuff, the more trapped you will be by the idea the material possessions can give you happiness.
One thing that can have an immense impact in your life is your mindset. Your mindset dictates your actions, the way you conduct your life in this world. Advocates of Zen encourage us to learn to be present and live in the moment to achieve peace. Simplifying your life and de-identifying yourself from material possessions can help you do that. The immediate effect is you stop buying things and focus on what matters most, instead: your relationships with your families and other people.
Meditation is a form of relaxation that brings a bunch of benefits to our overall wellness. Scientific studies have proven meditation as a way to fight stress and disease, relieve tension and vanish our worries. We encourage people undergoing financial stress to practice meditation or other forms of relaxation, along with the steps we mentioned above. Meditation alone may not relieve the symptoms of stress caused by financial problems, but it does extend a lifeline while you deal with stress.
Financial wellness matters. It is something that everyone should be paying attention to as it is an indispensable factor in our health and affects the quality of our lives.
Take steps to manage your financial stress. Take charge of your financial wellness!