You are not alone in worrying about money. People from all over the world have to deal with the uncertainty of financial resources. Some problems may stem from a failure in business or unemployment. We might be victims of escalating debts and emergency expenses. Whatever it is, financial and economic stress are common in today’s society and modern life.
Even before the pandemic has hit the globe, more and more Americans feel stressed about money, at least some of their time. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), around 72% of Americans experienced economic difficulties in 2014.
Similar to other sources of overwhelming stress, economic problems can have a serious toll on your mental and physical health. Fortunately, counseling can help you in managing your financial and economic stressors. Read further to know how your counselor can help you.
The Effects Of Economic Stress On Your Health
Economic stress is extremely overwhelming, especially when you have other people relying on you. It can take down many important things in your life. You will feel your self-esteem slowly being damaged. It will make you feel like a failure and fill you with a sense of despair. Economic stress can significantly affect your physical and emotional health.
Depression And Anxiety
More specifically, it can cause anxiety and depression. Money problems can leave you feeling down and hopeless. It can also cause difficulties in concentrating and making clear decisions. This is because most of us perceive money as our safety net. When we lack these financial resources, it may expose our vulnerabilities and worries.
Research shows that individuals who struggle in debt are twice as likely to suffer from depressive symptoms. In addition, worrying about unpaid bills or reduced income can trigger symptoms of anxiety. These may include:
- Pounding chest or heartbeat
- Panic attacks
Difficulties In Relationships And Social Interaction
For most couples, money is often the most common reason for arguments. Economic stress can make you more irritable and frustrated with your life. When experienced over a long period of time, it can take away your ability to form stable relationships. You may also lose interest in sex and showing intimate expressions. Money problems can rip even the strongest relationships.
Economic stress can also disrupt other types of relationships. For instance, it can keep you from maintaining professional association with your superiors. It can also cause a conflict with people to whom you owe money.
Worrying about your financial and economic resources can also keep you socially withdrawn. You may retreat from your family, friends, and your general social life. This can make your stress a lot worse.
Other Effects Of Economic Stress On Your Health
Aside from the major effects, you also need to watch out for the other consequences of economic stress on your health. These may include:
- Insomnia and disorganized sleeping patterns
- Weight gain or loss
- Physical illnesses such as headaches, high blood pressure, and heart disease
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol or gambling addiction
How Your Counselor Can Help You
By the time you read this, you are familiar with the negative effects of economic stress. Fortunately, counseling can help you in managing and mitigating these effects. Here are some strategies and helpful tools your counselor may teach you:
Determining Areas You Have Personal Control Over
In dealing with your economic problems, it is important to have self-efficacy. Your counselor will help you in identifying your personal and professional money goals. Then they can help you assess which areas of your life you have financial control over. This way, they can help you prevent despair and panic during a financial crisis. They can also provide you with tools and strategies to survive in these situations.
Confront Your Financial Stressors
Consulting your counselor can also help you to deal with your economic stressors directly. They may ask you to identify specific solutions you alone can provide. They will guide you in planning to confront your financial problems. Even if it causes short-term stress, doing this can reduce your stress in the long run.
Your counselor may help you gather information, explore options, and seek out professional help if necessary. What you can do is review this plan regularly and update it with any developments.
Identify And Practice Health Coping Strategies
As previously mentioned, economic stress can cause unhealthy coping mechanisms. Your counselor can teach you alternative ways to respond to your stress. They may refer you to stress management classes or determine what hobbies you have.
Your counselor may also recommend simple exercises such as journaling, group discussions, or even exercising. They may also advise you to seek the company of your loved ones. The key here is to engage in positive thinking about money and financial issues.
Help You Look At The Good Side
For many of us, dealing with financial stress and uncertainty can immediately bring our confidence down. Your counselor can help you change your mindset about these problems. Although difficult, what opportunities does this open for you? Counseling can help you look into the bright side of your financial stressors. Your counselor can motivate you to find healthier practices in money, so you don’t worry about it too much in the future.