Many people dealing with psychological stress may also experience financial distress. Health experts say these aspects go hand-in-hand. Both situations become more challenging to face when dealing with stress that goes unaddressed. Some may have a mental health concern like depression and not realize they should get help. Your mental health is crucial to decision-making and problem-solving. Here is what you should know about financial issues and how they affect your mental health.
Lack of Control
It is common to feel like you’ve lost control of your situation when your finances are not where you want them to be. Some feel as if they have lost control of their thoughts, making it challenging to think straight when determining the best solution to their problems. Few may even worry about having funds for important events such as an emergency or retirement. In some cases, people may purchase things simply because they think that is the only control they have at the moment.
People often engage in what some call “retail therapy” when they feel down and out. The concept of buying things when in emotional distress may temporarily make your pain go away. One study reviews the connection between mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety, and those who suffer from either are likely dealing with financial problems. Unfortunately, after the pleasure wears off from the purchase, people feel distressed again because they’ve added to their financial issues with unnecessary spending.
Low Energy and Self-Esteem
When you feel like you’ve lost control and start emotional spending, it will likely affect your energy and self-esteem. People experience low energy when they stay up late worrying about their finances due to stress or burnout. Low self-esteem could make you spend more on certain items like name brand clothes, jewelry, or a new car to feel accepted by others.
When you’re not feeling your best, it is difficult to face your problems. You’re not able to think clearly or decide what action to take that is most beneficial. Some people purposely avoid dealing with their financial issues because it creates anxiety while making it harder to face the truth. Therefore, people put off trying to come up with a plan for addressing the problem.
Haunted by the Past
When financial issues challenge your mental health, it may open up unhealed wounds from the past. Sometimes the past may influence how you spend money in the present. For example, if you were teased as a child for not having the latest pair of expensive sneakers, as a parent now, you may spend more money to ensure your child doesn’t get teased. You may find yourself spending more money to get favorable attention.
How to Gain Mental Strength
Understanding your options when it comes to your mental health is essential. Be honest about your financial situation and consider ways you can improve it. Making improvements to your mental health may benefit your finances. Take care of yourself by eating a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and plenty of rest each night. Engage in activities of interest to keep stress levels low. Take advantage of free or low-cost financial tools available online and in your community aimed at practicing good financial habits.
Talk to someone about your situation, especially if you feel depressed or have issues with anxiety. There are online help options such as BetterHelp, providing support and guidance so you can take steps to improve your mental health. Building mental strength is crucial to understanding your choices about how to handle your finances. There are financial and mental wellness strategies you can practice to help you feel better.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.