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How Your Financial Stress is Truly Affecting Your Mental Health
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We all know that our finances stress us out, we don’t need anyone to tell us that. But what we often don’t know, is just how the stress from our finances actually is affecting us. I see so many people struggling with their health and I only wish that they knew, how much their mental and emotional stress comes out as health problems in their body.
I am excited about this post because I get to combine my two passions, finances and health (I went to school for a year to study Holistic Nutrition, so when I get a chance to share correlations between the two, I get pretty excited and nerdy.
When I went to school for holistic nutrition, not only did we study nutrients and how the food you eat affects your body, but we also studied how our stress affects our mental, emotional and physical health. I was completely blown away by what I learned.
I want to share this important message because once you have awareness, it is much easier to make improvements in your life because you now have a real reason. Yes, it is important to improve your finances to be in a better place financially, but also, to be in a better place mentally.
I am an online financial coach and I absolutely love working with my clients to improve their “numbers’ and help them pay off debt, save money and be able to have more options and opportunities, but the real gift for me is when they have less stress and anxiety, more fulfilling relationships, a healthier relationship with themselves, they are more energized, have better sleep, less stress eating and they are living a greater quality of life.
My Mental Health Suffered From My Financial Mindset
I have went through my own mental health journey, due to my financial mindset and the anxiety that I had around money. I don’t want to just tell you this, I want to show you how that actually looked in my life, when I was experiencing these issues. I share this with you, because I want to help build you awareness in your own life, how your finances may be affecting you more than you would initially think.
When you are chronically stressed about your finances, your body is affected in so many ways:
I could go very in depth here, but I want to keep this post short and to the point, so you can easily understand the connections, instead of sharing the complicated ways that your financial stress is affecting your mental health.
Your Sleep Quality & Quantity Affect Your Brain Health
You lie in bed, exhausted from a long day, but unable to fall asleep. You are constantly worrying about your finances, which exhausts your brain and makes it difficult to fall asleep. Your sleep is greatly affected when you are constantly worrying and in turn, from having poor sleep, your brain doesn’t get the time that it needs to, to fully recharge itself, which in turn affects how your brain functions and your memory.
Stress Leads to Poor Digestion Leads to Poor Energy
When we have high stress in our lives such as that from our finances, it affects our digestive system. We need hydrochloric acid in our stomach to break down proteins which are used for many functions in our body. When we are stressed, it can actually reduce the amount of hydrochloric acid that is being produced and therefore make it more difficult to break down our protein. When we have inefficient digestion in our body, our bodies have to overcompensate to try and get our food broke down properly. What happens then is our digestive systems require more energy for digestion. That energy is energy that could have been used for so many other processes, but is now being used to break down your food. This means that poor digestion leads to poor energy. Poor energy makes us feel slower like we are operating from a lower vibration and we in turn have less confidence. When we have less confidence and lower vibrations, we naturally begin to feel down on ourselves and this affects our mental health. We might choose to stay in more often, be less active, visit with less people, all things that bring joy into our lives, that we are now not doing because we have less energy and less confidence.
If you are struggling with your digestive system, a great book that I love to recommend is Eating Alive, Prevention Thru Good Digestion as you don’t have to have a health background to understand it. It really breaks down your digestive system into easy to understand concepts and it also includes pictures and cartoons to easily illustrate their points.
Stress Leads to Poor Eating Habits & The Vicious Cycle Begins
When we are feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by our finances, we tend to make more reactive choices than proactive. Instead of thinking how we can eat to raise our energy and how we feel by eating wholesome, nutrient-dense food, we often turn to food that will give us a quick dopamine (feel good hormone) spike. These types of foods are often refined, processed, nutrient deficient and higher in added sugars. They are foods that may for half a second allow us to feel good, but then regret it and feel guilty shortly after. These foods also often spike our blood sugar levels and then drop, which causes us to feel tired, lethargic and like we are experiencing the “afternoon slump.” When we get into this cycle then it often continues to repeat itself and then it becomes a habit. When we are consuming foods that are nutrient deficient, we are really affecting our mental health because we aren’t eating foods that support our brain health. We aren’t taking in B-complex, magnesium, chromium, vitamin and mineral rich foods that actually boost out mental health. We often end up eating foods that we are more sensitive too, that make us more hyper and have greater ups and downs in our moods. Foods that are more refined and processed often have colors added to them which is common to affect mental health as well as ingredients that are common food allergies or sensitivities. Your gut and skin aren’t the only parts of your body that are affected by foods, but also your brain.
I am sharing these images, to show you how my stress/binge eating really was affecting me in my life, to help you make the connection in your own life, if this is something you are also experiencing.
Read This Book About Nutrition & Your Mental Health
A great book to read about mental health that I studied in school and found absolutely fascinating is New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind. I can’t recommend this book enough and I think that everyone should read it for mental health purposes, whether you have struggled with your mind before or not.
Our Relationships Have a Significant Impact on Our Mental Health
Something that is often overlooked as to the extent that it has on affecting our mental health and how we feel, is our relationships. When we have relationships in our lives that are pulling us down, that make us feel bad about ourselves, that we feel numb in, that don’t feel as fulfilling, those constant feelings take a toll on you. Your energy, your vibrancy, your perspective of your life and the world, how you feel about yourself, how you feel about your dreams, they are all affected by the quality of your relationships. When you improve what is affecting your relationships, then your relationships can begin to flourish again and your entire mental health, will also improve. Often the underlying root problem in many of our relationships is the stress from our finances. We feel the stress, but we aren’t addressing it and improving it, to in turn, make our relationships change to being more positive and more loving.
I have written a whole blog post here about How to Improve Communicating About Money with Your Partner that goes into more depth about how you can improve your finances and your relationships in turn.
Other Suggestions to Help Support Your Mental Health Include:
Open Up to Someone
I suggest if you are struggling with your mental health, to reach out to someone to talk to them, whether that is a counselor, therapist or other qualified healthcare professional.
I also recommend seeking the advice of a naturopath or someone trained in holistic nutrition, who can take into account many different factors and give you nutrition and lifestyle recommendations to improve your mental health.
Something we don’t do often enough is opening up, we need to open up so much more about what we are going through and how we feel, instead of suffering in silence. Speak your truth, say what you are going through and stop putting others before yourself and being afraid of how they will react. You need to put yourself first. When you bottle thoughts, feelings and things up inside of you, they are going to come out in your body in negative ways. If you want to read more about how to actually open up to your significant other about how your finances are affecting you, you can read more in this blog post I wrote, How to Improve Communicating About Your Money with Your Partner.
You can also work with a financial coach who will be able to give you the step by step actions to improve your finances so you make significant improvements much quicker than if you were trying to learn them on your own. If you are wondering more about what financial coaching is and how you would work with one, you can read this article I wrote on Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Coaching
Improve What is at the Root of Your Stress
Remember, the cost of therapy or working with a financial coach is not an expense, it is an investment in your health and the money that it costs for these services and products, can easily be thousands of dollars cheaper, because they saved your mental health which can cost you your relationships or family, your job, your business and so much more that is so important in your life.
Something that I also use is a happy light in the mornings to help with my mood and energy levels (especially living in Canada and not seeing very much sun for 6-8 months out of the year). I use it for about 30-45 minutes in the mornings.
I also have a post 10 Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety About Money that you may want to check out that gives additional tips to combating the stress you are feeling around your finances.
If you want some more tips for getting your debt paid off quicker, download my free 4 Steps to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt E-book, this gives you more in detail, the step by step actions to take, to get your debt paid off much quicker than you currently are right now.
- 10 Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety About Money
- 4 Things to Do to Get Your Debt Paid Off
- 7 Tips for Increasing Your Credit Score
- 11 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
- How to Plan Your Finances For an Entire Year (in under a couple of hours)
- My Top 6 Money Mistakes I’ve Made, That You Can Learn From & Avoid
- Why You Haven’t Been Able to Get Your Credit Cards Paid Off & How to Change it so You Can
- Using Your Credit Cards This Way Is Harming Your Credit Score (and costing you thousands more in interest)
- How I Saved Thousands of Dollars so I Could Leave My SIX Figure Career
- How I Made Over $9000 Just by Selling Things I Already Had in My House
- 9 Things You Are Spending Way More Money on Than You Think
- 3 Real Reasons You Are Overspending & How to Overcome It
- Top 8 Best Books for Overcoming a Financially Scarce Mindset for Women
- Why You Need a Blog & Start One
- How I Lost 10lbs from Working on My Money Mindset
- 4 Things You Need in Your Health & Wellness Business to Save You Time, Energy & Money
- How to Make Saving Automatic & Easy
- How to Have Better Sleep so You Can Make More Money
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