One of my favorite quotes from Zig Zigler is, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
Mother Nature provides us with all the oxygen we need. However, money is a different story.
The critical financial decisions that must be made as we transition through life are causing widespread chronic stress and it’s a growing problem. Fears about personal finances, stemming from the rising cost of healthcare, mounting debt, and uncertain market conditions can cause immense anxiety.
According to the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least once in the past month.
Stressing about money affects our health and our relationships.
Biologically, stress serves to give us the edge we need to protect ourselves from immediate danger. While our distant ancestors used this handy adrenaline rush to fend off predators, today we use it primarily to meet deadlines and manage our time– all in pursuit of financial confidence. However, because financial confidence often feels out of reach, many people worry about finances constantly, and the resulting stress becomes chronic—especially in today’s unsettled conditions.
Chronic stress can contribute to a wide range of health problems due to elevated cortisol, adrenal burnout, and strain on the cardiovascular system. From sleep issues, weight gain, and increased blood pressure, to bouts of depression and anxiety, long-term stress can wreak havoc on our bodies.
Financial stress can also cause turmoil in relationships. Whether spatting about your spouse’s overspending habits, disagreeing over the household budget, or discovering one partner is not being fully honest about finances, money troubles can lead to lack of trust, resentment, and a great deal of friction. There’s no question that financial stress is a leading cause of divorce, but it can also affect extended family dynamics and friendships as well.
How to Reduce Financial Stress
Although occasional financial challenges may occur from time to time, we don’t have to let money concerns ruin our health or relationships. Instead, we can work to develop a healthier relationship with money and reduce financial anxiety.
Be on the lookout for a series of blog posts to address ideas on how to reduce financial stress. If you know someone that would benefit from this series, feel free to forward this to them or invite them to go here so we can add their email address to our list.
Hiram “Chip” Hutchinson, III, is the President of Hutchison Group, Inc. (HG), a fee-based, independent financial services firm assisting clients in and around Rock Hill, South Carolina. Chip drives strategies designed to better enrich the client’s experience, resulting in a deeper client relationship and a broader understanding of client financial needs. HG has been offering personal financial guidance for more than two decades. Learn more about them at hutchisongroup.com.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.