BLOG: Stop money worries taking a toll on your health

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Stressing about your finances can affect you both physically and emotionally, writes Joanna Faith.

Money worries have made their way into the nation's bedrooms.

Research out today from uswitch.com reveals finances are the main subject of bedtime conversation for more than a third (34%) of Brits and 31% admit money is the most common cause of domestic disputes.

With living costs on the rise and salaries struggling to keep up, it's no surprise financial pressures are a huge weight on our shoulders.

But money stress can affect us in more ways than we realise. It can take a serious toll on our health - and not just our emotional well-being.

A poll, conducted by the Associated Press and AOL, found that 27% of people with high stress over finances reported digestive problems versus 8% of people who did not worry about finances.

Headaches, migraines and muscle tension or lower back pain were also found to be more prevalent among people who were worried about money.

Money concerns, whether they are how we're going to pay our next gas bill or if we'll be able to fund our child's university career, can leave us anxious, stressed and even depressed.

However, stats reveal we are not doing enough to stop these worries and in true British fashion, we are struggling in silence.

According to a survey of 1226 people in 2012, by the Institute of Financial Planning and National Savings and Investments, 43% of people in the UK are worried about finances but only 14% had taken the time to identify their financial priorities and plan towards them.

One third said they were hoping to win the lottery. But with the probability of winning the jackpot currently standing at around 1 in 14 million, a different course of action could be needed.

Vangile Makwakwa, author of the Heart, Mind & Money: Using Emotional Intelligence for financial success, says the most effective way to stop worrying is to master the fear.

She offers the following five pieces of advice:

 1)

Become comfortable with uncertainty: uncertainty is part of life and there's absolutely no way to know the future with complete certainty. There are too many variables.

Sit with your worry and ask yourself these questions: what next step becomes possible in the situation when you release your worry and is it really money that you need in that situation?

Often you'll find that what you need is clarity of mind, an action plan and courage to execute it. When we see our worst fears and face them, they can no longer control us.

 2)

Question the validity of your worries: we have a stone-age mind, that's used to dealing with life and death issues, so when you worry your mind really believes the problem you're facing is life or death.

The best way to stop worrying about money is to make the mind see that this is a false conclusion is to get it to question itself so it can find its own truth. Write down the worst case scenario on paper and then write down that if this scenario does happen, you will die. Now question if this is true.

 3)

Design a financial plan and stick to it: the best way to overcome uncertainty and stop worrying about money is to have a vision and a plan to make it reality.

Having a plan for your finances lowers anxiety and reduces stress because it gives you a roadmap of what to do next.

 4)

Spend time with your bank account: it's human to avoid anything unpleasant. However, facing unpleasant situations, like looking at your bank account every day, teaches your mind to stop running from your fears.

 5)

Get financial help: we all need a helping hand to get to the next level, so don't be scared to work with a money coach, financial planner or financial adviser.

 

 

 

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