Financial Stress & Health

New Research Suggests that Money is to Blame for Stress

They say that money makes the world go around – and in many ways it genuinely does. From saving up to buy a house, right through to covering the costs of utility bills; there’s no denying that without money, most people can start to struggle to make ends meet. And this is why reportedly, 1 in 4 Australians are finding themselves having to turn to medical support to help treat their anxieties.

But according to research, even more people (particularly males over the age of 40) are finding themselves dealing with debilitating conditions that take on a physical form – many of which have been traced back to stress. These have in turn been linked to the quality of a person’s income, or lack thereof. Depending on which stance you take, it might even become apparent that money is a leading culprit of stress in general.

Why are earnings so stressful?

Money woes aren’t a new invention, they have actually been around for centuries and even ancient cultures like the Egyptians had a hierarchy of rulers and working class members of society. Depending on status, different tax levels were proposed and as you might imagine, this used to be even more stressful in the past with the promise of death being considered a satisfactory punishment for failing to meet financial deadlines.

Fortunately much has changed, but that doesn’t mean that the stresses and pressures felt by people have been lessened. In the most extreme circumstances, overdue tax bills can result in prison and this is especially the case when tax evasion is present. So, how on earth can people be expected to cope with the rising costs of living, as well as the increase in requirements on a financial level?

And this is what has led to many researchers throughout the country (as well as internationally) to identify the root causes of stress when relating to cash flow.

What the studies say

According to investigators at The University of Sydney, the levels of stress hormones released into the bloodstream have been directly linked to anxiety disorders, mental conditions and even certain types of cancer. Although the latter is still being investigated, it should come as no surprise to learn that higher volumes of stress in the form of adrenaline and dopamine can take a negative toll on the body.

Although adrenaline is a chemical intended to be pumped around the body, its thicker structure is what actually causes the blood to pump more rapidly, as it tries to spread the cells to every extremity and trigger a reaction. Once or twice isn’t an issue, but over time, and when dopamine is present, it can weaken the immune system, lead to fatigue and generally reduce blood flow – a fact that financial advisors and medical experts alike are agreed upon.

New Article 2023

Can Financial Worries affect your Health

Financial stress can have a profound impact on an individual’s overall health and well-being. The strain caused by financial challenges can manifest in various ways, both physically and mentally, leading to a range of health issues. Here are some key ways in which financial stress can affect health:

  1. Mental Health: Financial stress often leads to anxiety, depression, and increased levels of stress. Constant worry about unpaid bills, mounting debt, or the inability to meet basic needs can take a toll on mental well-being. Individuals may experience feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and a sense of being overwhelmed, which can lead to long-term mental health issues if not addressed.
  2. Physical Health: The impact of financial stress can extend beyond mental health and manifest physically. Stress is known to contribute to a range of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and a weakened immune system. The constant strain and anxiety associated with financial difficulties can disrupt sleep patterns, decrease energy levels, and impair the body’s ability to function optimally.
  3. Lifestyle and Behavioral Changes: Financial stress may lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Individuals under financial pressure may engage in unhealthy behaviors such as excessive alcohol or substance use, overeating or undereating, and neglecting self-care routines. These behaviors can further exacerbate health problems and create a negative cycle of physical and mental well-being.
  4. Relationship Strain: Financial stress can place significant strain on personal relationships. Disagreements over money matters and the inability to meet financial obligations can lead to increased conflict, marital tension, and even separation or divorce. Relationship problems further contribute to stress and negatively impact mental and emotional health.
  5. Limited Healthcare Access: Financial constraints may limit individuals’ access to healthcare services. Lack of insurance coverage or the inability to afford medical expenses may result in delayed or inadequate treatment. This can lead to worsening health conditions and increased stress due to the fear of medical debt or the inability to manage healthcare costs effectively.

Recognizing and addressing financial stress is crucial for maintaining overall health. Seeking support from professionals, such as financial advisors or counselors, can help individuals develop strategies to manage financial challenges effectively. Additionally, practicing stress management techniques, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and seeking social support can mitigate the negative impact of financial stress on health. By prioritizing both financial and overall well-being, individuals can work towards a healthier and more balanced life.

By Ben Jones at MunkYourself