TOP
Monday,September 28,2020 19:26 PM

Financial stress and mental health

By Admin

Added 30th June 2020 05:02 PM

A study by Associate Professor Christopher Davis defines financial stress as the subjective, unpleasant feeling that one is unable to meet financial demands, afford the necessities of life, and have sufficient funds to make ends meet. The perception is that your financial situation impacts directly on your physical wellbeing.

Financial stress and mental health

Racheal Chelimo

A study by Associate Professor Christopher Davis defines financial stress as the subjective, unpleasant feeling that one is unable to meet financial demands, afford the necessities of life, and have sufficient funds to make ends meet. The perception is that your financial situation impacts directly on your physical wellbeing.

OPINION | COVID19 | WHO

By Racheal Chelimo

Stress is a normal reaction of the body when changes occur. The body can respond to these changes physically, mentally, or emotionally. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger.

However, stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or cessation between the triggers.

As a result, we become overworked, and tension builds. Did you know that positive life changes such as a promotion, a loan from the bank and child birth could cause stress?

A study by Associate Professor Christopher Davis defines financial stress as the subjective, unpleasant feeling that one is unable to meet financial demands, afford the necessities of life, and have sufficient funds to make ends meet. The perception is that your financial situation impacts directly on your physical wellbeing.

Financial stress is, therefore, associated with low self-esteem, pessimism or negativity and reduced mental health, particularly an increase in depression and hostility. Studies show that there is a link between financial stress and suicide and alcohol consumption, most likely as a result of the increased level of depression.

Financial stress is also associated with a declining physical health such as an increase in headaches, stomachaches and lack of sleep. An article titled: "3 Vicious Cycles: Links among Financial, Physical And Mental Health", says high stress causes a fight-or-flight reaction, releasing adrenaline and cortisol.

These hormones can suppress immune, digestive, sleep and reproductive systems, which, if sustained, may result in their ceasing to function normally.

At work places, employees with high financial stress have often reported poor health and are more than four times likely to complain of headaches, depression or other illnesses. What you need to know is that mental health and money problems are often directly linked.

Research showed that in England alone, over 1.5 million people are experiencing both problem debt and mental health problems. Is Africa any different? Research has recorded that half (46%) of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem.

Eighty six percent of respondents to a Money and Mental Health survey of nearly 5,500 people with experience of mental health problems said that their fi nancial situation had made their mental health problems worse. People with mental health problems are also more likely to be in problem debt and almost one in five (18%) people with mental health problems are in problem debt. People experiencing mental health problems are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems (5%).

Unexpected expenses, the need to save for retirement and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses are the major culprits. Chronic stress is, therefore, linked to physical health issues. To identify signs of stress look out for the following: dizziness or a general feeling of "being out of it". General aches and pains, grinding teeth, a clenched jaw, headaches, indigestion, increase in or loss of appetite, tiredness, among others. People can manage financial stress by learning to manage stress through financial planning, literacy and living within in one means.

To lead happier, healthier lives, you may want to begin with the following tips: keeping a positive attitude, accepting that there are events that you cannot control, being assertive instead of being aggressive, practising relaxation techniques such as meditation and exercising regularly. Your body can fi ght stress better when it is fit. Above all, seek help from a health professional trained in stress management or biofeedback techniques to learn more healthy ways of how you can deal with the stress in your life.

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author