Financial stress is a factor that can greatly impact one’s personal happiness, sense of fulfillment, and career trajectory. Whether you are just starting out in your career or have been working for many years, the financial stresses we face can feel overwhelming at times. With the cost of living continuing to rise in most cities across the United States, it is no surprise that financial stress has become an increasingly common concern among workers of all levels. The unfortunate truth about financial stress is that, left untreated, it can have significant negative impacts on your work performance, relationships with others, mental health, and even longevity. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the warning signs and take action to limit its impact on you now and in the future.
What is Financial Anxiety?
Financial anxiety is the feeling of stress, fear, and worry related to the state of your finances and future financial security. While some people experience financial stress due to external factors, such as a significant change in income, for others it may be caused by internal factors, such as feeling out of control of one’s finances. Financial anxiety can be short-lived or last many years, and can be triggered by numerous events, including career changes, income changes, divorce, death in the family, medical bills, natural disasters, and other major life events. Over time, consistent feelings of anxiety and worry related to one’s finances can lead to a state of chronic anxiety and significantly impact your life. Financial anxiety, like other forms of anxiety, is considered a mental health condition, and can be associated with other related conditions such as depression and stress disorders.
Signs You Are Experiencing Financial Anxiety
You feel as though you are always behind on your bills and don’t know how you will catch up. - You are constantly struggling to make ends meet and are always finding yourself in a state of feeling behind. - You feel as though your financial situation is out of control. - You are experiencing feelings of fear, worry, and stress related to your finances. If you are experiencing any of these feelings, there is a good chance you are experiencing financial anxiety. Not only does financial anxiety have significant negative effects on your day-to-day life, but it also can have significant negative effects on your career.
The Harmful Effects of Financial Anxiety
Financial anxiety can lead to a variety of negative consequences, including poor health, strained relationships, less work satisfaction, underperforming at work, and impeding your ability to manage your career. - Poor Health - Financial anxiety can lead to a variety of negative health outcomes, including increased blood pressure, higher instances of heart disease, increased instances of strokes, and higher rates of diabetes. It can also lead to poor eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and a lower overall quality of sleep. - Relationships - Financial distress can strain your relationships with loved ones, including with friends, family, and others in your network. - Work Satisfaction - When you are experiencing financial distress, it can negatively impact your work performance. You may feel unmotivated, less productive, and be at a greater risk for leaving your job. - Career Impacts - Financial distress can also impact your ability to progress in your career. You may be at a greater risk for missing out on promotions and raises or even being laid off. - Impeding Your Progress - Financial distress can also make it more difficult to achieve the things you want in life, such as buying a house, going back to school, or pursuing your passions.
3 Strategies to Help Manage Your Financial Anxiety
Find Support - Financial anxiety is something that many people experience, and finding support can be incredibly helpful. You can find support through friends and family, as well as through various financial support groups that exist online.
Create a Plan - It is important to create a plan for your finances that is tailored to your exact situation. Create a budget and track your spending to get a better idea of where you are spending your money. Consider getting help from a financial advisor who can assist you with creating a sound financial plan.
Take Action - It is important to take action to confront your financial situation, even if it feels overwhelming. Take small steps to chip away at your debt, and make sure you are utilizing all the resources you have available to make your financial situation better.
Financial anxiety can be a significant source of stress and can negatively impact many aspects of your life. Fortunately, there are ways to manage it and minimize its impact. It is important to remember that you are not alone, and that help is out there if you need it. If you feel like your finances are out of control, or that they are causing you significant stress, it might be time to make a few adjustments to get your finances back on track. It might be helpful to make a budget, seek out a financial advisor for assistance, or consider seeking therapy for any emotional issues that may be contributing to your financial anxiety.