FINANCIAL STRESS AND MENTAL HEALTH
If you stress about money, you aren’t alone. Money is one of the most common reasons to provoke stress in most households across the world. But if left unaddressed, financial stress could have a serious impact on your mental health. And we all know how important mental health is, especially during such trying times.
WHY SHOULD WE COMBAT FINANCIAL STRESS?
Financial stress, unlike popular belief, is as draining as stress caused by other factors. Many may undermine its impact, however, if you stay very stressed out for long periods of time without taking any action, you could risk developing anxiety issues or even fall into depression.
Financial health has a negative impact, not just on your financial well being, but also on your overall health. A highly stressed out person is likely to put themselves second to everything. One might develop habits that don’t benefit their physical health, which in turn will have a major effect on one’s mental health!
Therefore, it is necessary for us to take small steps to either avoid or reduce financial stress in our daily lives.
DO YOU HAVE FINANCIAL STRESS?
Let’s take a moment and determine if you are a victim of money-related stress. There are a few tell-tale signs:
- Feeling helpless: You might feel like you have lost all control over everything. You might experience mild or severe anxiety combined with a feeling of hopelessness, especially when you begin to think about your finances. You might catch yourself indulging in other habits that distract you such as binge eating, playing video games endlessly, resorting to drinking and smoking excessively, etc.
- Avoiding problems: You might begin to avoid anything and everything related to money. You might ignore your payment notifications, leave your bills unattended, you might even delete the messages you may receive as reminders. You may also find yourself overusing your credit cards without thinking about the consequences.
- Isolation: Your self-esteem might hit an all-time low! You may believe that everyone, except for you, seems to have their lives together. You may even avoid going outside and interacting with others, in some cases. It might often leave you feeling extremely unmotivated about life in general
- Loss of energy/ concentration: You might feel highly lethargic and might choose to spend all day in bed consecutively. You may not be able to continue doing your everyday activities with energy and concentration.
It is highly important to remember that if you believe that you suffer from few or most of these symptoms for prolonged periods, you should ideally seek professional help. However, if you are certain that it is temporary, you can take some simple steps to step up and get back into action! Money should never control you, rather you should be in control of your money!
HOW TO REDUCE FINANCIAL STRESS?
Understand that money problem are part of life and isn’t the end of the world. Here are a few simple money habits that will put an end to this money related to misery, or rather prevent this scenario altogether:
- Assess your debts and liabilities: Take some time to figure out your debts. List them down, along with every detail. Though it may seem intimidating at first, knowing exactly who you owe and how much, helps in making a clear-cut plan that will lead you out of this debt cycle, if any.
- Record your spending habits: Though this is stating the obvious, always keep tabs on where your money is going. Preferably, write them down or use applications that help you do the same. This enables you to make better spending decisions, and in turn, helps you save money. Ultimately, this helps you repay your loans, or save some money! Both of which are highly beneficial for someone who is stressed out by financial troubles.
- Develop the habit of saving: Saving might not be your cup of tea, but if money is something that constantly worries you, saving some money could make a world of difference. With an array of automated saving and investing mechanisms, such as Wizely, RoundUps, etc., saving up has never been easier! Knowing that you have something to back you up during difficult times is definitely a stress buster!
- Practice the art of budgeting: All of the above-mentioned habits can be carried out if you just began budgeting! You could choose from a variety of options online to help you create a budget, or you could even do it the old school way, in a notebook (popularly known as Kakeibo)! It is in fact recommended over using budgeting apps. Though budgeting might sound like a boring and exhausting process, the results will surprise you. You will not just feel de-stressed, but you might also find yourself saving and making much better money decisions!
- General stress management: Most importantly, do things that make you feel positive and energized. Talking to trusted family or friends about your money issues could relieve you of your money woes. Sometimes they may give you a new perspective on how you could handle the situation better, or offer to help you with your situation in various ways!. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle also significantly contributes to reducing your stress levels on a daily basis!
It is crucial to take care of your wealth, but even more crucial to take care of yourself! Take small steps, and deal with one day at a time. This way, you are bound to overcome any kind of stress that comes your way!