Lauren Cobello » Blog » 7 signs money stress is affecting your life and what to do about it
If you’ve found yourself constantly stressing about money, you are definitely not alone. Today I am going to talk about 7 signs money stress is affecting your life, then what to do about it! A study by the American Psychology Association has revealed that nearly 72% of Americans experience financial stress at least some time in their lives.
Unfortunately, when we are stressed, it is not only our wallets and bank accounts that take a hit. Different aspects of our lives are affected, too, including our health.
Financial stress can stem from job loss, retrenchment, a large unexpected expense, inability to find work, misappropriation, debts, or simply worrying too much about your finances.
Not sure if you are financially stressed?
Financial stress may cause you to develop unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, sleeping too much, smoking and drinking more than usual, gambling, or abusing drugs to deal with the stress. These coping mechanisms do not solve the money stress. Rather they create more problems in the long term.
Money stress causes anxiety, and you find it hard to fall asleep when you are anxious. Both stress and anxiety impact the duration and the quality of your sleep, which in turn affects your health. Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns that adults getting less than 7 hours of sleep every night are at a high risk of developing lasting mental health problems.
It isn’t uncommon to experience a shift in mood from time to time. But when it happens frequently around the time you are financially pressed, most likely you have money stress. I like to call the mood swings that come with lack of money, money moods. Because, technically, they are triggered by money and tend to go away as soon as your money problems go away.
Because of the feelings of shame and embarrassment that come with financial struggles, you find yourself withdrawing from people and turning down every social plan. You avoid checking emails and receiving phone calls, especially from creditors.
Money anxiety has a way of getting on one’s nerves. You become easily angered and irritated by things that would otherwise not have bothered you. You find yourself arguing with your loved ones unnecessarily and picking fights over everything, especially with people directly linked to your money woes, like a spouse or manager at work.
The quickest and perhaps the only way to heal from financial stress is to manage your financial situation effectively. This means digging deep into your financial situation to understand where the problem is coming from and finding ways to tackle the problem.
Of course, it’s impossible to fix the problem overnight but putting things into perspective and having a plan to follow through is one step in the right direction. There are a few things you can do to ease the stress.
Create an extra source of income. If you are financially stressed because of the constant struggles of paying bills and not being able to meet all your needs, an extra source of income to boost your finances will be a major stress reliever. There are many ways to create extra income without putting a strain on yourself.
Practice stress management. Finding ways to manage stress will go a long way in making you feel better. Get enough sleep every night, eat a healthy meal, exercise your body, and become socially active again. Also, practice stress-reducing techniques and mindful techniques like yoga to lower stress levels.
Take charge of your finances. This may be difficult at first, but you will be glad when you finally get control of your finances. Identify the exact areas where you struggle financially. Is it in budgeting, saving, spending, making money, and so forth? Make a list of everything you need to do to get it right. Remember to tackle one problem at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Attaining financial stability is not an overnight wonder. It takes time, discipline, and a lot of planning.
Seek professional help. There is no shame in admitting that you need help with your finances. That is precisely why we have financial coaches and advisors. If anything, a financial coach will help fast-track your financial stability. I offer one-on-one financial coaching and also have a step-by-step online course called Crush your Debt. You can find out more details about that here.
Negotiate for flexible debt and bill payments. If you feel choked with your debts, ask your bank, credit card company, or utility company to set up payment plans that are a bit manageable for you until such a time when you can make more payments. You may also want to learn how to get out of debt and live a debt-free life.
Financial stress can greatly impact your physical and mental health. That is why it’s important to know the signs as well as how to cope with money stress before you sink deeper. It helps to share your concerns with your loved ones. They may be in a better position to help you out or, at the very least, offer you a new perspective on how to approach your financial struggles. Also, try out the coping tips I’ve shared above. They will help you deal with your money anxiety.
Remember, you are not alone. So many people are going through money stress at the moment. Stay optimistic, and all will be well in due time.
If you want help getting back on track, grab a copy of my stress-free money guide below!