Believe it or not, when you are financially stable and have healthy habits around how you spend and save money… It actually affects your physical health and can provide many benefits!
You may think of the more obvious ways that financial instability can take its toll, such as causing stress or anxiety.
However, there are some unexpected ways that a sound financial standing can be having negative effects on your physical health overall.
Part of a wellness-centered lifestyle is taking care of your finances in a way that allows you to have a prosperous future. However, 78% of U.S. adults (according to a recent study by Bankrate) report losing sleep — worrying about daily expenses, saving for retirement, and trying to pay extremely high healthcare costs.
How Does Financial Wellness Affect Health?
Increased Muscle Tension
Overall stress can cause a lot of tension in your neck and back which may lead to migraines and other headaches. Studies suggest that stressful situations may trigger migraines – including financial problems. Some remedies to help alleviate tension include participating in yoga, pilates, or simple stretches.
Raised Diastolic Blood Pressure
In a study by Northwestern University in 2013, results showed that adults ages 24-32 who had “high debt-to-asset ratios had significantly higher blood pressure”. High blood pressure can be a precursor for much more dangerous issues such as heart attack and stroke.
Stress can cause a whole host of digestive issues, due to the connection between your brain and the gut. According to Kenneth Koch, MD, professor of medicine in gastroenterology and medical director of the Digestive Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, “stress can affect every part of the digestive system.” When stressed, the processes controlled by your enteric nervous system (that lines the gastrointestinal tract) can be heavily impacted.
Depression & Anxiety
One of the most common issues stemming from an overall unhealthy lifestyle. 55% of adults in lower-income households report handling stress in ways that can be considered detrimental to overall well-being. These habits include watching TV, drinking alcohol, smoking and eating.
These types of activities compounded with the state of panic or fear from feeling unable to pay the bills will lead to anxiety. One study also found that there is a direct correlation with debt and feelings of despair. The report states a 14% increase in depression symptoms for every 10% increase in personal debt.
Additionally, many feel that debt and financial issues are a reason to feel embarrassed. The stigma around debt causes individuals to feel that there will be judgement if they admit to have issues with money. 35% of Americans report they would be embarrassed to tell others they have credit card debt, with 43% reporting they would feel judged by family and friends if they knew how much debt they had. Shame can be linked to other health risks such as feelings of helplessness and anxiety.
Financial well-being is more than just balancing your checkbooks and learning how to save. By ensuring to take care of your financial accounts, you will be sure to keep overall health in great shape as well. Avoiding debt is a great way to reduce stress and avoid potential negative health effects.