money with stress related text boxes

How’s your relationship with money?

Whether you’re just scraping by, or you have plenty of money, most people experience financial stress in one way or another. Left unchecked, financial stress can take a toll on more than your bottom line. It can take a toll on your health, too.

In a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 66% of adults said money is a significant source of stress in their lives. (1) The money survey also found that:

  • 55% Money is a common cause of contention in relationships
  • 57% Frequently worry about having enough money to pay for basic things like food and rent
  • 43% Worry about saving enough money for future expenses
  • 56% Adjusted priorities and made different choices because of a lack of money

So what does financial stress have to do with your health?

More than you might realize. It’s no secret chronic stress is a risk factor for health problems. But what about financial stress?

In a recent study, researchers looked at the impact of financial stress on health.2 They found that money-related stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk for chronic disease.

“We found that financial stress was most detrimental to biological health,” says University College of London researcher Dr. Odessa Hamilton.

“This may be because this form of stress can invade many aspects of our lives, leading to family conflict, social exclusion, and even hunger or homelessness.”

10 Health Risks Linked to Financial Stress

If you’re living with a constant stream of financial stress, it can take a toll on your bank account and your health, especially if you try and ignore the problem.

In fact, research shows chronic financial stress may increase the risk for:(3,4, 5)

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. Heart disease
  4. Auto-immune disorders
  5. Chronic pain
  6. Headaches
  7. Digestive problems
  8. High blood pressure
  9. Muscle tension
  10. Early death

Feeling the weight of financial stress?

If you’re experiencing financial stress, doing nothing won’t help you change your circumstances.

But you can reach out for help from professionals to learn more about how to pay off debt, increase your income, create a budget, or access resources from your employee assistance program or government programs.

References

  1. Bethune, S., (2022). Stress in America. American Psychological Association. From: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2022/concerned-future-inflation
  2. Hamilton, O., et al. (2024). Immune-neuroendocrine patterning and response to stress. A latent profile analysis in the English longitudinal study of ageing. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 115:600-608. From: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159123003458?via%3Dihub
  3. Ryu, S., et al. (2023). The relationship between finnacial worries and psychological distress among U.S. adults. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 44(1): 16-33. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8806009/
  4. Evans, M., et al. (2020). Mental and physical health correlates of financial difficulties among African-American older adults in low-income areas of Los Angeles. Frontiers in Public Health, 8:21. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7028705/
  5. Hathcock, A., (2021). Mental well-being inherently connected to financial wellness. Purdue University. From: https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2021/Q1/mental-well-being-inherently-connected-to-financial-wellness.html

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