Financial stress has become a widespread issue in today's society, affecting people in all corners of the earth. The stress of trying to make ends meet, pay off debts, and save for the future can significantly impact our mental health causing anxiety, emotional stress and depression. This article will explore the impact of financial stress on mental health and offer solutions for coping with it.
Financial stress and mental health
According to a recent survey, 72% of adults reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time, and another 22% say that the stress caused by their financial situation has a significant impact on their mental health.
Being a student myself, budgeting my own personal finance is something which I find myself constantly trying to improve as I struggle to manage my spending on a small budget. This does in fact cause me some stress as being able to afford things like my weekly shop, gym membership, car insurance etc. whilst trying to keep an active social lifestyle through going out for food and drinks with friends weekly.
This stress caused can manifest in a variety of ways, including:
Worrying about debt, bills, and financial obligations can lead to constant feelings of anxiety and stress
Financial stress can cause feelings of hopelessness and despair, making it difficult to find joy in everyday life
Financial stress can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping
The link between money and health
The link between money and health is complex and multifaceted. Financial stress can worsen pre-existing mental health conditions, such as the ones mentioned above, whilst also leading to the development of new mental health challenges.
It can sometimes feel like the world revolves around money. True or not, it is undeniable that money plays a central role in each of our lives. This means it can also have a significant impact on our mental health.
Money troubles and poor mental health go hand in hand. Money issues can degrade a person's mental health, while poor mental health can induce or intensify money worries.
This is because money and mental health issues frequently combine to form a vicious cycle. If you have mental health issues, it may be more difficult to find work, resulting in financial difficulties that only worsen your mental well-being.
Alternatively, you might start off with financial difficulties. They have been linked to increased levels of stress and anxiety, which can lead to difficulties getting or keeping a job, and ultimately place you in deeper financial trouble.
The good news is, the cycle can be broken.
Taking action is the most crucial thing you can do to decrease the influence of money on your mental health. People frequently try to overlook their financial troubles in the hope that they'll go away on their own. They won't.
Talk to Someone
Often a good first step is to talk to someone in your life about your situation. A problem shared is a problem halved, and while the person you reach out to may not be able to solve all of your problems, you'll be surprised at how much better you will feel from simply talking through your issues with someone who cares about you.
Seek Professional Aid
When you feel ready, contact an organisation that specialises in assisting persons in your circumstance. Citizens Advice can provide you with free financial guidance, while Money and Mental Health are set up specifically to help break the cycle of money and mental health problems.
Make a Budget
A budget helps you to better understand where your money is going and enables you to make informed decisions about how to best use your resources. A budget can also give you a sense of control and reduce anxiety around money matters. Having a budget in place can help you reduce the stress associated with financial strain and help you stay mentally healthy.
It is important to recognise the signs of financial stress and take steps to manage it in order to protect your mental health. This can include creating a budget, talking to a financial advisor, and seeking support from family and friends. With the right tools, you can manage financial stress and protect your mental health.
Linked below are some organisations I recommend in order to best aid you in rebuilding both your financial and mental stability.