More intense in cases of unemployment or debt, the stress associated with money can arise at any time. Learn to overcome financial anxiety.
Losing your job or changing roles to a less interesting job; accumulating debts and not knowing how to pay them; anticipate large expenses in the short or medium term – the car in the garage, the children at university. All these situations are relatively common in our lives and can cause stress , in this case motivated by financial issues. Financial anxiety must be fought assertively, so that it does not evolve into anxiety or depression.
What is financial anxiety?
Financial anxiety is essentially characterized by behavioral changes, mood swings and expressions of concern, but also physical symptoms, such as headaches or difficulty sleeping, related to money issues – whether concrete situations that are affecting the person’s finances , or potential situations in the future, in the case of anticipating difficulties.
This situation is associated with money problems that people face throughout their lives. It is common in young adults, especially when transitioning to the job market. The difficulty in finding a job, low wages, the need to look for a home or the start of a professional career often motivate situations of financial stress in young people.
What are the main signs of financial anxiety?
The cause of these stressful situations may be financial, but the symptoms – mentally or physically – are similar to those of other manifestations of anxiety. In severe cases, they can be disabling, requiring clinical intervention to help the patient overcome anxiety. Find out what they are:
Mental and emotional symptoms
- excessive worry
- Fatigue or prostration
- panic feeling
- concentration difficulties
- sleep disorders
- memory problems
- chest pains
- higher heart rate
- Diarrhea or digestive disorders
- Muscle aches and tremors
- Shortness of breathe
- Weight loss or gain
What health consequences does financial anxiety have?
The risks of financial anxiety to health include both physical and psychological aspects. Depression, on the one hand, and deterioration of physical health due to changes in diet, physical activity or sleep patterns, on the other, are consequences that can be anticipated:
- Interruption of routines, with negative effects on coexistence at home, at work or in leisure situations.
- Isolation, loss of desire to participate in everyday activities or to make decisions.
- Risk of depression, inability to progress in life.
- Appearance or worsening of physical symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea or chest pain.
- Risk of dependence on alcohol or drugs, misused as a way to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
How to deal with financial anxiety?
Whether the concern is related to situations that have already happened, such as losing a job, or is essentially fear and anticipation of problems, the most important thing to overcome stress is to maintain routine and not be afraid to share the problem. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Be active. Do activities with family and friends; wake up at the same time even if you are not working; update resume and job search; look for other activities or physical exercise to occupy the time.
- Be honest. Do not hide emotions and concerns, or the problems that may be motivating them. The opposite can lead to a deterioration of relations with the family and the people who are close to them.
- Seek advice. Facing financial stress , when justified, includes making choices, adjustments, payment plans. Having support to solve these problems will also have an effect on controlling anxiety.
- Have a healthy lifestyle. In addition to waking up at the same time and occupying time, it is important to ensure a healthy diet. Cooking, even if it wasn’t a habit before, helps to maintain health and control personal finances, in addition to serving as a distraction.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can come as an outlet to help deal with anxiety symptoms, as well as medication or drugs. However, this does not solve the problem and can lead to addiction and a spiral of new financial problems, communication difficulties and further withdrawal from family or friends.
When to seek medical help?
It is necessary to consult a health professional – doctor or psychologist – when anxiety begins to take control of personal life. When anxiety is an obstacle to the day-to-day routine, when it creates barriers to relationships with others, when there is a feeling of despair, that there is no solution to problems, talking to a health professional also means that you are aware of the effects of anxiety on personal life and on others.