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Dealing with financial stress

 How to deal with financial stress (Photo: iStock)

Financial security plays a pivotal role in our well-being. However, the pursuit of financial stability can itself become a source of stress, affecting not only our economic well-being but also our physical and mental health.

“Financial stress is a chronic emotional state often characterised by worry, anxiety and feelings of helplessness concerning one’s financial situation,” says Dr Robert Elliot, a leading researcher in stress management.

The initial challenge lies in recognising the presence of financial stress.

Unlike a physical ailment with immediate symptoms, financial stress can manifest in more subtle ways. Chronic fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating can all be indicators of underlying financial anxieties.

Financial psychologists advise that you pay attention to changes in your sleep patterns, appetite and overall mood. These subtle shifts can be early warning signs of financial stress.

On top of that, a tendency to withdraw from social activities or a preoccupation with money matters can also be indicative of financial unease.

Beyond the emotional toll, financial stress can also have a significant impact on physical health. Studies have shown a correlation between financial stress and an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and even weakened immune function.

It is therefore crucial to take proactive steps towards mitigating its impact.

To get started, identify them. The root causes of financial stress are as diverse as the individuals experiencing it. Unexpected medical bills, job loss or even the burden of tax hikes can all trigger feelings of financial vulnerability.

Additionally, living beyond one’s means, a common pitfall in today’s consumer-driven society can exacerbate financial anxieties. Regardless of the cause, acknowledging the source of stress is the first step towards finding a solution.

Creating a budget and diligently tracking expenses allows for a clear picture of your financial landscape. Identifying areas where you can cut back on unnecessary spending empowers you to make informed financial decisions.

If you feel like you don’t have what it takes to cut back, talk to a professional who will give you financial advice. This can be invaluable especially when navigating complex financial situations.

You also want to explore debt consolidation options or create a debt repayment plan with your bank. This will alleviate the burden of outstanding loans.

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