Money doesn't buy happiness, but without enough money to support your daily needs, your mental and physical health will decline.
Debt, difficulty paying rent, and not being able to buy nutrient-rich foods are some of the most common money-related problems that affect an individual’s quality of life.
Moreover, money problems lead to mental health problems, which encourages irresponsible financial behavior. Therefore, when your finances aren’t going well, you’ll find yourself in a vicious circle that becomes more difficult to leave as time passes by.
Today we’ll shed some light on how your financial problems affect your state of well-being and what you can do about it.
How Money Troubles Affect Your Mental Health
First, financial difficulty is a surefire source of stress and anxiety, which can have a severe impact on people's mental health. After all, when you don’t know where your next paycheck will come from and how you’ll survive next month, your stress and anxiety levels will go through the roof.
According to a recent study, people with depression who also have debt are more likely to be still depressed 18 months later. Moreover, the same study shows there is an income gap between people with mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, and their peers that don’t have these afflictions.
On the other hand, mental health issues can affect your ability to manage finances. For instance, you may feel a lack of motivation when it comes to taking care of your current bills or even checking your bank account.
Some people overspend (aka shopping sprees) to feel better and often make impulsive financial decisions without analyzing the consequences. Additionally, people who suffer from mental illness may not be as able to work or study, which leads to a reduced income.
Take Practical Steps to Improve Your Finances
If you’ve been moving in circles all your life, you won’t be able to break free right away. But there are steps you can take to improve your mental health and your finances.
Here are a few tips:
1. Be Aware of Your Own Convictions
Most of us have a toxic relationship with money, developed based on what we learned as children. This type of relationship is often the root of all evils (in terms of financial troubles) and the reason why we can’t get out of the vicious circle it creates.
So, take an inventory of their childhood perceptions of money and challenge any limiting beliefs that keep you locked in the current cycle. Open up to close friends and try to understand your parents’ relationship with money and their own limiting beliefs.
As children, we don’t get an objective view of financial topics, and we only learn through observation. So we end up getting our information from parents, close relatives, and friends.
2. Consider Student Loan Refinancing
If your main source of anxiety and stress is your student debt, try to do something about it. The most common solution, in this case, is refinancing your student loan.
When done right, refinancing can help you save money in the long run. Plus, it can lower your monthly payments, help you pay off the loan faster, and improve your debt-to-income ratio. All of these factors can add up to significant savings over the life of the loan.
Moreover, there are plenty of easy student loan refinancing solutions available online, so the application process is quite easy.
3. Discuss with a Mental Health Professional
While there are several ways to reduce your anxiety by yourself, it’s still a good idea to talk with a mental health professional. The topic of money is quite complex, and we’re often too emotionally invested in it to create the right distance needed for understanding and healing.
A mental health professional can help you understand why you have financial troubles and where they stem from. Plus, they’ll provide guidance and make you understand that things change, and with the right steps, they can even improve.
4. It’s Not About the Hussle
Making money doesn't have to be a miserable, nonstop hustle.
In fact, it can be an enjoyable and enriching experience, as it allows you to pursue your passions and increase your freedom. Pursuing money and pursuing happiness should not be mutually exclusive because, in today’s world, it’s extremely difficult to be happy without a good financial situation.
Most individuals have a complicated relationship with money, which is why we often attach feelings of anxiety, avoidance, and fear to this topic. But, once you realize the situation can change and start learning about the proper steps to get out of the money-mental health vicious circle, things can improve exponentially.