How Debt Affects Your Health

Photo by Riccardo Mion on Unsplash

 They say that the best things in life are free. And while that may be true for many things, it’s also true that money worries are one of the most common causes of stress for adults, with up to 72% of them feeling that money worries were affecting their mental and physical wellbeing (Source: American Psychological Association).

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Now that you know you aren’t alone, you need to recognize how financial stress is affecting you and what you can do to mitigate its effects on your life. 

How your finances affect your wellbeing

The constant worry about the state of your finances can manifest itself in a number of different ways. Eventually, you will start to notice both physical and psychological effects that have have a huge impact on your life and your relationships. 

Though it can seem like you are drowning, there are resources out there to help you regain control of your health and your finances. Look online for reputable services in your area or check out the DTSS review as an option to free yourself from debt. 

Physical health

A little bit of stress in itself, is not a bad thing. It is thought that stress is an evolutionary response that humans developed in activate the ‘fight or flight’ response in order to save ourselves in dangerous situations. 

Prolonged stress on the other hand, can be extremely damaging and is linked to insomnia, headaches, heart disease, diabetes and more. Becoming ill will also lead to further financial worry due to increased medical bills. While it may seem like the cheaper option is to try and avoid medical costs, delaying seeking help can actually mean that you will face much bigger medical bills down the line. 

Mental health

Financial stress not only has physical effects, but psychological ones too. People in debt have much higher anxiety and depression rates than those who are not. Mental health issues can also affect your family, relationships and career. 

Unhealthy behaviors

Health issues can be compounded if you begin to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to try and make yourself feel better. These behaviors could be anything from overeating to taking drugs and abusing alcohol. This will again add to your health worries and continue the viscous circle you’re in. 

How to cope with financial stress

Get a clear view on your situation

Unless you suddenly find yourself in receipt of a financial windfall, getting out of the debt cycle is going to take time. Give yourself a financial MOT. Look at your debts and your essential expenditure and find ways to make savings on your everyday spending. 

Be strict with yourself. Whether your debt was unavoidable or down to you mismanaging your money, you need to make the hard choices for a while. It’s not fun, but it is necessary. 

Next, explore any extra potential sources of income. Perhaps a second job or a side hustle you can do from home. It may not bring in big bucks but every dollar counts when you’re trying to get out of debt. 

The very act of setting out everything on paper (or computer) can give you a greater sense of control, rather than simply burying your head in the sand and making it worse. 

Learn stress management techniques

Finding ways to reduce your stress levels can have a positive impact on your entire life. Not only will you be avoiding the stress related illnesses, but you’ll also be improving your mental health and relationships too. You’ll also be more likely to take care of yourself physically too. 

There are many resources online, such as a mindfulness app on your phone. 

Seek help if you’re overwhelmed

There’s no magic cure. So if you find yourself spiraling downwards, you need to reach out an talk to someone. Your primary care provider will be able to signpost you to the help you need, or you can search online for charities and support groups to help you through the darker times. 

Final thoughts

It’s easy to feel like you’re alone when it comes to financial stress. You might feel embarrassed to talk about it, but bottling it up will only cause more problems. There is a way through it, but it does require dedication and a few sacrifices along the way to try and free yourself from the vicious circle of debt and poor health. It can be done and you can emerge at the other side with better financial physical and financial health.


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