Tuesday, November 21, 2023

How to Manage Financial Stress to Improve Your Health

 Did you know that 73% of Americans say that their financial situation is the main source of stress in their lives?

You may be one of them. It could be affecting your health. 

Any single event, such as a bounced check or an unexpected expense, can cause stress. That stress can cause physical and emotional symptoms such as:

• back pain

• frequent colds and respiratory infections

• headaches

ª irritability

• nausea or upset stomach

• sleep issues

Even worse, long-lasting stress contributes to health issues such as:

• anxiety

• depression

• diabetes

• heart disease

• high blood pressure

• mental health problems

• reproductive issues

Here are some ways to control financial stress and improve your health:

1. Track your spending. Once you know how much you are spending on what, you can decide what items or categories to spend a little less on.

2. Set up a payment plan, if your debt is too great to handle otherwise. Many creditors would rather you repay them gradually than to have to go through the legal system to regain what you owe them.

3. Set up a written budget. Stick to it! This requires self-discipline, but you can do it.

4. Focus on one big financial decision at a time. Don’t do too much at once. Baby steps will get you to your goal. If you must make major purchases, do them one at a time.

Keep in mind these strategies for dealing with any form of stress:

• Avoid unhealthy habits that too many people adopt for dealing with stress. Don’t eat lots of junk food, drink alcohol, use illegal drugs or tobacco. These actions lead to negative health outcomes.

• Use healthy stress-reduction strategies. Try breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, spending time in nature or with a friend.

Gain control of your financial stress, and improve your health.

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