There is a strong correlation between finances and health. The relationship between a person’s finances and their health is something that we don’t often think about. But it’s important to know how factors like income, debt, and savings can affect your physical and mental wellbeing. Have you ever asked yourself how do finances affect health?
The amount of food you have access to is based on your financial situation. If you’re struggling financially, this will likely also mean that your diet consists largely of junk food rather than healthy produce or lean proteins.
For example, if someone lives in an area where they don’t have easy access to fresh fruit or vegetables, it may be more affordable for them to buy processed foods from a convenience store than nutritious groceries at the grocery store that’s further away.
Financial hardship doesn’t only affect physical health. It can also have a significant impact on mental health. If you’re struggling financially, it’s likely that your stress levels are higher and the quality of sleep is lower than someone who has more financial stability or wealth in their life.
So how do finances affect health?
1. Money can be a source of stress
Financial hardship is a major source of stress for many people. It can be hard to concentrate on anything else when you’re worried about how you’ll pay your bills, put food on the table, and keep a roof over your head. Let’s be honest, when finances and health are jeopardized we are not able to function the way we should.
People often feel like they are not in control of their lives and that the weight of responsibility is too much to handle. It can be difficult to find hope or relief when you are drowning in debt, unable to make ends meet, and living paycheck-to-paycheck.
2. Lack of money can lead to depression or anxiety, which in turn can cause health problems
People who are living in poverty or struggling financially often experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. These conditions can make it difficult to focus on anything else – including taking care of themselves physically- which leads them into a vicious cycle where their physical condition worsens as they become more depressed about the situation that led up to this point.
3. Increase in unhealthy habits
A lack of financial stability may lead to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating high-fat foods. These unhealthy habits can cause a number of problems such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and increased risk for cancer.
The stress of not being able to provide for one’s family can lead people into unhealthy habits that are detrimental in the long run. These bad behaviors are often a coping mechanism for people who feel stressed out by their current situation – but they come with some serious consequences in the long run.
4. Avoidance of healthcare
People who are financially secure are more likely to seek preventive care and adhere to treatment plans than those who have limited resources. Lack of money will make some people avoid going to the doctor or taking their medication. This can lead to more serious health problems and even death in some cases.
You may be avoiding the doctor because you are short on money. It is a common misconception that people who can’t afford to go to the doctor or take their medicine should just tough it out and suffer without any treatment. The truth is, if you avoid going to see your doctor for an illness, this could lead to worse health problems down the road.
5. Financial stress can cause immune system issues
Stress from financial worries may affect the immune system’s ability to fight off illness and can lead them into a downward spiral of poor health that is difficult to escape without help or resources.
6. Financial hardship can cause a lack of sleep.
It’s hard to get the proper amount of sleep when finances are tight because worrying about bills keeps us up at night. This is because people who experience financial hardship are more likely to be stressed and anxious which causes them to have trouble sleeping.
Financial stress causes an increase in cortisol, which is the hormone the body releases when it’s under pressure or feeling threatened. Higher levels of cortisol disrupt sleep patterns and lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome, apnea, and snoring.
In addition to these physical symptoms caused by financial stress, there are also emotional effects such as depression that can lead to poor health including chronic pain due to tension headaches or migraines from increased anxiety.
Ways to Improve your Financial Situation
- Start by getting together all of your financial documents in one place so you know what you have coming in and going out every month
- Develop an emergency plan for if something unexpected happens like losing a job or health insurance coverage because it will give peace of mind knowing that if something does happen then there is someone who will be able to take care of the necessary arrangements with minimum fuss.
- Create goals so that you have something to work towards to keep you motivated.
- Set up a budget and stick with it. This will help you avoid overspending on things like food, clothing, or entertainment which can lead to debt if not managed properly. It also helps in saving money for the future by setting aside an amount of cash every month that is earmarked just for savings.
What Happens When you’re Doing Better Financially
It’s a common misconception that if you’re doing better financially, then your financial worries are over. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Just because you’re doing better doesn’t mean you don’t have any more work to do.
You still need to make sure that you’re budgeting, saving, and contributing to investments (if you can). It is also important that if you’re still in debt, to live on less than you earn so you can pay off your debt faster.
One of the problems when people have when they start doing better financially, is they start to spend more. Sooner than later, they’re back in financial hardship and the vicious financial stress cycle begins again. It is important that as your income increases, your expenses stay the same. That’s how you build true wealth!
Many people never really think about how do finances affect health. But now you have an understanding of the connection between finances and health. So as you can see, a lack of money can not only affect your mental health but also your physical health, which affects every aspect of your life including family life and work life.