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The effect of financial stress on the body

StressedHave you noticed a change in your eating and sleeping habits? Then you may be suffering from financial stress and it can have some damaging effects on your long term mental and physical health.

At least 17.5 million working hours are lost each year in the UK due to financial stress. In fact 70% of the workforce admit they spend a substantial amount of time at work worrying about their finances and 55% of employees say that financial stress affects their relationships with co-workers and their ability to do their job.

We all undergo varying degrees of stress in our lives and are generally able to cope. But when the pressure becomes unrelenting, as it does with financial stress, then the body starts to react to the increased release of cortisol and adrenaline which increases heart rate and blood pressure.

Putting yourself at risk of ill health

Stress may exacerbate the risk factors for heart disease, affecting the way blood clots and increasing the risk of heart attack. Stress can irritate the stomach lining, causing digestive problems and abdominal pain. When you enter the condition known as distress, you can experience weight gain and loss, migraines and insomnia and increase your risk of having a stroke.

The health impact of prolonged financial stress is widespread with 43% of adults reporting some symptoms linked to stress. It seems the relationship between stress and ill health is cyclical, with symptoms both exacerbated by stress and caused by it. If you’re under financial pressure, then stress becomes a vicious circle from which you feel you can never break free.

Mental health and wellbeing

Perhaps the most debilitating effects of financial stress are anxiety and depression, which impact on family life and your ability to do your job and to keep control of your finances. Panic attacks, risky behaviour and self doubt can all add to the burden of the financial pressure you’re under.

Take control

You can start to take control of your stress through seeing your doctor, exercise and counselling.  Please do reach out for help and perhaps consider getting proactive for you and those around you. We offer a range of courses to help employees get better with money so contact us today to start taking control of your physical, mental and financial health.