1 in 4 people will struggle with mental health issues. That statistic can look pretty scary but it should also help us understand that mental health issues are not out of the ordinary and we might all encounter issues in our own ways.
Since mental health issues are so common, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that money can be directly influence your mental wellness. Just like mental health issues, we can’t run away from money problems – dealing with finances is something each adult has to deal with. How exactly can finances impact your mental health? Perhaps more importantly, what can you do about it?
Financial problems can cause anxiety
If you have financial problems, you can cause yourself to feel stressed and anxious. Being in debt or having trouble paying bills leads to sleepless nights and feelings of anxiety. This can worsen your existing mental health condition or cause you to develop problems.
Mental health problems can reduce your earning potential
It must be noted that mental health problems might not be finance related. However, it is almost certain that mental health will impact your ability to deal with finances.
First, if you suffer from mental health problems, you might need to take time off work. Some employers are good at dealing with these sorts of situations and they will provide you financial assistance during the tough times. Nonetheless, some won’t be quite as understanding.
Furthermore, you might find it hard to do any sort of work or be active in terms of furthering your career. The longer you battle with the issue, the more it might reduce your earnings and earning potential.
In a sort of vicious cycle, the more your earnings drop, the more mental health issues you might deal.
Mental health problems may make you spend more
Research by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute suggests people with mental health issues tend to spend more money when they feel unwell. There is the idea that spending money might make you feel better – this phenomenon is literally referred to as retail therapy.
The problem is that retail therapy only provides a short feeling of happiness. Once the excitement wears off, many feel worse about the purchase and the guilt can cause them to feel even lower.
Mental health problems make it harder to manage finances
Overall, problems with mental health can lead to difficulties in managing your finances. The anxiety might cause a reaction that makes people push money matters aside – knowing you have a big debt might mean you refuse to think about it, causing the problem to become worse.
Anxiety can also make it hard to deal with people and therefore, reduce your ability to deal with money issues. You might feel scared to talk to bank managers or anxious about calling to your service providers.
Dealing with actual money can boost mood
Interestingly enough, it’s not all doom and gloom. Money has an actual power to release more endorphins in your brain, causing you to feel better. How? By handling money – actual physical money – you release more endorphins and feel better. Therefore, you definitely want to start using cash instead of just relying on credit cards.
How to deal with finances when you’re feeling anxious
So, what can you do to limit the impact of mental health issues on your finances? What you need to keep in mind is:
Understanding your behaviour by analysing when and how you spend money. You should be true to yourself and keep a note of money aspects that cause you to feel anxious or bad. You need to find ways to keep track of your spending – even if it seems overwhelming at first, you can quickly realise how to make small savings. Overall, the fact that you know about your financial situation will help you feel less anxious – you acknowledge the problems or you might realise you’re worrying over nothing.
You also want to get more organised. Consider using budgeting apps and gamifying the way you spend money. If you challenge yourself to save money, using OZCodes offers, you can turn spending money into an accomplishment. You’re not just spending; you’re also being smart about it. The ability to do this can make you feel better in other aspects of your life.
Above all, you need to talk to someone about your feelings. This could be a mental health professional, a friend, or even a financial adviser. Professional advice can help you deal with the problem and saying things aloud can help you feel less anxious about the situation.
Mental health problems can affect your finances in many ways. You shouldn’t feel bad about this – financial and mental health issues can affect anyone. If you’re struggling with either, then don’t be afraid to ask for help.