Highly debt-stressed people are 4x as likely to have ulcers or other digestive problems.
Money doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness, but managing it poorly can certainly lead to unhappiness. Although this study focused on debt stress, a 2009 poll found that money, in general, is the world’s greatest source of stress. Respondents cited the state of the world as their second biggest cause of stress. Health was last on the list of concerns in almost every country.
Reducing financial stress
So money-related stress can cause physical and mental health problems, and health is the least of our worries, according to the 2009 poll. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it’s understandably difficult to see the big picture when there are schedules to keep and bills to pay. What can we do?
- Get a plan. If your money stress is related to debt, the first step is to get a plan for debt repayment. Simply getting started will help ease the stress of a chaotic financial life. If you are worried about an unexpected car repair or emergency room trip, figure out ways to increase your emergency fund. When you start to worry, reassure yourself that you’ve got a plan in place
- Identify the negative ways you cope with financial stress. Often these are the same ways you cope with any other kind of stress, and many times the ways we deal are damaging to our health and well-being: alcohol, smoking, a bag of potato chips and a date with the remote control, gambling, becoming aggressive, avoiding social interaction, compulsive spending, chewing your fingernails, criticizing yourself for being such a hopeless idiot, etc.