What stresses you out the most? For most Americans, it’s financial worries.
According to a recent survey, we’re far more likely to be fretting about money (45%) – or the lack of it – than our job performance (17%), relationships (23%) or health (28%).
But stress has an impact on all areas of your life, from productivity to personal relationships and health. When you’re stressed about money you may be able to hide it from the people around you, but your body can’t be deceived.
Sleepless nights, headaches, anxiety and depression can result from stress. You may also experience back pain, dizziness, dry mouth, skin irritations, mood swings, chronic exhaustion, and a weakened immune system. Chronic stress can play a role in heart disease and high blood pressure.
Even dental problems can be attributed to stress, due to “bruxism” – the formal term for teeth grinding and clenching – which is often associated with stress. Over time, grinding your teeth can fracture dental fillings, crack crowns, wear down or chip teeth, and cause jaw pain.
You deserve better. If you are raising children, they deserve a better you. Here are some tips for reducing your financial stress:
Money is one of those topics that people don’t naturally share. I want you to step up and start talking. Pull one or two of your dearest friends close and bring them into your financial life. It’s not about them solving any of your issues. That’s going to be on you. The gift here is the release of stress from simply being able to talk about what’s eating at you.
If you are married or living with someone, I sure hope that any money stress is being tackled as a unified couple. All too often I hear from women who tell me they are in charge of the monthly budget, and that their husband gets mad when the spending exceeds what’s in the bank account. That makes no sense. It is not your fault if there is not enough money to cover family expenses. Do not let yourself be the victim.
As a couple, you must sit down and talk through your spending budget, and agree how the entire family will work to spend less. Do this with love and respect and you will feel an immense reduction in financial stress. To say nothing of the big boost in your relationship.
If your stress is centered on large credit card balances and a general struggle to live within your means, I want you to contact the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA.org 866-694-7253) and be connected with a debt counseling pro in your area. An FCAA debt counselor may also be able to negotiate a payback plan with your creditors.
Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today, Orman is undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. Visit Suze’s website, www.suzeorman.com, to access a wealth of resources that will help you to get smart about your money.
As Suze Orman notes in her article above, stress has a significant impact on your health. Our bodies respond to stress as if it was a physical threat, releasing a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, intended to help you to fight the threat or run away from it. Your heart rate and blood pressure rises. The sugars (glucose) in your bloodstream rise so that your brain can power-up. Your body goes into survival mode: your digestive system and desire to sleep are suppressed.
These are useful responses when you’re dealing with an emergency, but over time chronic stress can overwhelm your immune system, compromising its ability to fight inflammation and heal properly.
Leaning how to manage stress is critical for good health. One simple way of de-stressing is taking a deep breath. The American Institute of Stress says that focused deep breathing the single “Super Stress Buster” that works for everyone.
And if you’re one of the 40-million Americans who grind their teeth in response to stress, you may be experiencing fatigue, sore jaws, a clicking sound when you open your mouth, a dull constant headache that originates around the temples, and tender teeth. In the worst cases, grinding can result in chipped, cracked teeth and gum infections. You need to lower your stress levels and see your dentist to help stop the dental damage.
If you’ve been putting off seeing a dentist due to cost, you’ll be happy to know that there is an affordable alternative to paying out of pocket and pricey insurance: dental savings plans can reduce the cost of your dental care by 10%-60%, easing your financial stress. To find out more about dental savings plans, visit dentalplans.com, or call 1-800-238-5163.
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