Are we all financially anxious? Money can bring a lot of negative emotions, from anxiety and depression to envy and guilt. From the other side, money can bring for some a lot of positive emotions such as hope and optimism about the future. However, if you are anxious about money, please don’t forget that you are not alone.
To have a healthy life, you need to have healthy relationships with your family members, neighbors, friends, colleagues from work, and you must have a healthy relationship with money.
Maybe you are afraid to go to your bank’s app to see your balance. Maybe you feel anxious when you sit down to sort out your rent, debts and monthly bills. Maybe you feel sick to your stomach even reading this. Or you might avoid checking your credit score because even the idea of it makes you nervous. You are not alone. The mental and physical reactions related to financial standing are more common than you think.
According to the annual poll from the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the most common concerns are keeping our family safe and finances. Approximately 66% of American reported that they experienced anxiety related to money. Financial concerns are more common than health, relationship or political concerns.
Altha Stewart, M.D., APA president, released a statement saying:
“The poll results reinforce the fact that basic needs, such as personal safety or finances, have a large impact on a person’s mental well-being. We urge anyone who is struggling with anxiety, regardless of the reason, to seek treatment.”
We live in a society where student loan debt reaches approximately $1.5 trillion. This explains why almost 70% of young people between 18 and 34 feel anxious regarding their finances. Income inequality is as drastic in the US as it’s been since the great depression. Also, wage stagnation is common for the past few decades. All of these issues might be related this way or another to financial anxiety.
How we approach money is very much related to how we were raised, what is our current financial situation, do relationships have an influence on our finances and other individualized situations that we might have.
Bari Tessler, a financial therapist said:
“Unfortunately, neither financial literacy nor emotional literacy are taught, so when these feelings come up, we don’t know how to deal with it. And after you’ve used money to provide your basic needs—food, clothing, shelter—money issues are no longer just about money. It is always about other deeper stuff.”
However, often money is taboo. Politics, money, and religion were considered to be not polite conversations in the past few decades. Still, today we don’t shy away to talk about politics, media, religion, even sex, but money is still taboo.
Financial coach Lynne Somerman tried to explain this phenomenon:
“The thing is money is a normal part of life that we just like to pretend isn’t so we don’t have to talk about it very often.”
We should be aware that any form of anxiety affects our physical body and our overall health, from the gastrointestinal system to cardiovascular health. According to the latest studies, loneliness is a greater hazard to our health than obesity. Therefore, any form of anxiety such as financial anxiety can have a great effect on our physical body, especially if you are struggling and you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to.
What you must realize is that you are not alone when it comes to financial concerns. Also, you should have productive, healthy and goal-oriented conversations about money with family members and friends.