In case you had any doubt, recent studies have officially shown that financial stress severely affects our overall wellness. In his book AgeProof, Michael Roizen, M.D., reveals that concerns about money trigger such high stress that they send the body into a physical fight or flight response. This flood of cortisol and adrenaline causes us to make rash decisions and rush into financial choices that we are likely to regret later.
How to asses your financial wellness
It’s only natural to become stressed and insecure about money. Cultural norms dictate that the subject shouldn’t be brought up casually. Furthermore, the secretive nature of finances combined with the complete lack of fiscal education we receive in school is a deadly combination for our mental well being. Prudential’s 2018 Financial Wellness Census reveals that the majority of America’s have an unhealthy view of their financial state. Some consider themselves better off than they actually are and some much worse, but most aren’t accurate.
If you want to genuinely asses your financial wellness then get comfortable talking about it. To begin, think about a person in your life who you trust and open up a conversation with them about what financial health looks like. Avoidance of an uncomfortable topic may reduce your short term stress, but it won’t solve any long term problems.
Knowledge is power and this is no different in the realm of finances. Take time to read books or listen to podcasts by the money gurus you respect. Consider seeing a financial advisor or take a course to help you plan. Whatever you choose to do, don’t avoid the subject. Educate yourself and talk willingly with the people around you. You’ll find that this open approach strengthens your friendships and romantic relationships. In the end you’ll be empowered to take charge of your money instead of being ruled by your paycheck.
protect your relationships
Northwestern Mutual recently published a study that reveals how deeply finances can harm our relationships. Their data shows that 1 in 5 Americans have a financial disagreement with their significant other at least monthly. Relationships are a key part of the 6 Dimensions of Wellness. This tendency to alienate them over money troubles can severely affect your overall health. Alternatively, overcoming the challenging conversation can strengthen your relationships and help you more accurately assess your situation.
Allowing money problems to ruin your happiness is an unnecessary tragedy. Everyone has to deal with money. However, you may find that those challenging conversations opens you up to talk about our fundamental values, past experiences and deepest hopes and dreams. Setting goals is key to wellness and financial goals are no different. Don’t let your fears overwhelm your potential wellness. Face your money mountain head on and enjoy the satisfaction of conquering one of the greatest challenges our culture faces today.