Posted by: Chris Rancourt,LMSW
Money is a great motivator in life, but it can also cause a lot of stress. Unfortunately, sometimes that financial stress can lead to anxiety.
If you’re consumed with financial stress, you might start to experience signs of anxiety that take over other areas of your life.
Understanding this “trigger” can help you to move past it and potentially get the help you need.
So, how can you recognize if financial stress is causing you to feel anxious? Let’s take a look at five signs you should be aware of.
You Avoid the Truth
If your finances aren’t in order and you’re avoiding calls from debt collectors or even refusing to open your monthly bills, you could be dealing with anxiety.
People often try to combat anxiety by avoiding the things that make them fearful. Unfortunately, if you’re avoiding your financial problems, they’re only going to get worse.
You Have Multiple Overdue Bills
Sometimes, financial stress can become so severe that you stop paying your bills. Unfortunately, those bills will start to add up quickly when you ignore them. You may have already received a second or third notice on some of them.
Feeling like you’ll never be able to pay your bills or get out of debt can cause you to become riddled with anxiety.
Again, avoiding these problems is never the way to go. Someone dealing with financial stress, however, might become paralyzed by the stack of bills in front of them.
You Spend More Money
It might seem counterintuitive, but a lot of people actually spend more money when they’re under heavy financial stress. It can help to ease their worries for a while.
When you buy something new that you enjoy, you can temporarily push aside feelings of anxiety. As you might expect, though, those “good” feelings don’t last long. The more you spend, the more your financial woes will grow. And those fears will continue to grow along with them.
Keeping your spending habits in check is one of the best things you can do to combat the anxiety caused by financial stress.
Your Relationships Are Strained
It could be that you avoid talking about finances with your partner. Or, your anxiety over money keeps you from going out with friends. Either way, financial stress can have a big impact on your relationships.
When you feel anxious about the current state of your finances, any time someone brings up money, you’ll start to feel on edge. If you try to change the subject or argue about it, your relationships can start to fall apart.
You’re Just Scraping By
Are you living paycheck to paycheck? It’s understandable to be anxious if you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to pay your bills. Or, maybe you’re not even sure if you’ll be able to buy groceries for the week.
If you’re in a financial state that requires you to depend on every penny from every paycheck, you’re bound to experience anxiety. The biggest problem with this type of anxiety is that it might continue to grow as you near the end of your budget every pay period. That keeps you in a constant cycle of anxiety, which can wreak havoc on your system.
Obviously, the best thing you can do to combat financial stress is to get your finances in order. See an accountant, set a budget, or work out a savings plan with your bank.
If the anxiety you’re feeling from your financial stress is holding you down or paralyzing you with fear, please reach out to me for help.
Together, we can work through some of your anxiety triggers. Then, we can work toward managing the symptoms of anxiety while working on your financial issues.