Stress is the leading contributor to heart disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We all know that financial stress can be a burden, but it can also have a negative effect on your health. Understanding the relationship between financial and physical wellness can help you improve both areas of your life.
Health Concerns of Stress
Financial stress often causes anxiety, depression and hopelessness, and that stress can also contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, more frequent colds and minor illnesses and more. Plus, many cope with financial stress in unhealthy ways, such as smoking, drinking and overeating, which can decrease overall health.
Financial Impact on Medical Care
Often, people with financial burdens neglect important preventive care or medication regimens. While this saves money in the short term, it often leads to worsened health problems down the road—and more medical bills.
Making Smarter Healthcare Decisions
Health care is expensive, but it should not be neglected due to financial trouble. Instead, there are ways to spend your money more wisely, which will improve your overall health and ease your financial strain.
- Utilize preventive care services. Screenings and check-ups can help prevent bigger medical problems (and expenses) down the road.
- Manage chronic conditions. By not adhering to treatment and medication regimens, your condition could worsen significantly. Consider mail-order pharmacies to save money on your prescriptions.
Coping with Financial Stress
Although the strategies above will help your medical costs and overall health, you likely still face financial worries. Here are healthy ways to cope with that stress and make it more manageable:
- Recognize your unhealthy coping methods and find alternatives such as meditation, exercising or talking with a friend.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat right, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. Make time for yourself to just relax and unwind.
- Talk to an adviser regarding your financial troubles. You won’t be able to fix them overnight, but having a plan of action can help you feel in control and minimize feelings of hopelessness.