How financial stress affects your health
November 2021   BODY & MIND

How financial stress affects your health

Worrying about money doesn’t just affect you mentally, it can have an effect on your physical health too. We look at financial stress and what it can mean for you.
Scroll to read

Money matters are the cause of stress and anxiety for many of us, and how they manifest themselves can also impact your physical health.  We take a look at the effect financial concerns have on your mind and body and how to find a solution...   

The world is stressed, especially since the pandemic began. Cigna’s recent Global Well-Being 360 Survey revealed that 83 per cent of people have experienced stress, and financial worries were a factor. People are concerned about how they’ll be able to provide for the future: to cover the mortgage, to pay for their child’s education, to fund their retirement. Financial well-being registers lower on the Cigna survey than ever before. But what does this mean for you? Is it sleepless nights? Or is there more to it?

Coping mechanisms 

The symptoms of stress are obvious for some. It could be the sense of being overwhelmed, the feeling you can’t control your situation or a nagging feeling that never goes away, even when you try to sleep, leading to insomnia. Anxiety and depression are two of the more well-known symptoms of financial stress, but it goes beyond that. 

Financial stress manifests itself in many ways, it can have an impact on your appetite, potentially leading to weight loss due to a distracted mindset or weight gain when food or alcohol is used as a coping mechanism. There are known risks associated with weight gain, such as diabetes and high blood pressure and even heart disease.

Of course, when you’re worried about money, you might take the decision to curb spending on social activities, and that could lead to isolation or loneliness and the stresses that come with that too.

So what can you do?

Financial awareness

Own the situation. The best solution is to deal with the situation head-on, don’t ignore your bank balance for fear of what it might reveal. Check it. Regularly. Go through your accounts to see where problems have occurred. What are your spending patterns? What’s going in, what’s going out? Try and identify the issues. It might not make pretty reading, but at least you’ll know what the situation is. Then, talk about your situation. It could be with a friend, family member or even a work colleague but talking rationally through the situation with another person will allow you to begin the process of finding a solution. You’ll also discover that you’re not alone, many people have been through exactly the same as you, and they’ve found a way out of the situation.

Disclaimer: The information under this article is general information only and solely for reference purpose, which does not constitute any financial, investment, tax or any other professional advice or analysis. It is recommended to obtain specific and independent advice from independent financial professionals before making any financial or investment decisions. Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information contained herein, and reserves the right to update or revise information in this article without prior notice.

 

 

Have a question? We’re here to help.

If you need expat health insurance alongside your travel insurance, we have options to suit your needs and budget.

If your organisation is looking for business health plans, check out our solutions.

Related articles
Working out during winter

Your ultimate guide to working out in winter

Expert tips on how to keep motivated to exercise during the cold winter months.

Kari Munro picture and south africa landscape

How I... cut down on alcohol

Alcohol was a big part of a South African expat Kari’s life until she adopted a new approach and turned her lifestyle around.