People’s worries change dramatically over the course of their lives (what to study in the future, switching careers, balancing work and family life, etc.), but one constant is the state of the economy. While it’s true that money can’t buy happiness, it can help ensure that you have the resources you need to take care of your physical and mental well-being.
The concept of “mental health” seems to be all the rage right now, but how well do we understand it?
The mental equivalent of physical fitness is called “mental health.” Having a sense of harmony in one’s social, cultural, occupational, and interpersonal spheres is one definition of this term, which refers to a state of physical, mental, and emotional health. How to maintain sound mental and physical well-being. Mainly by maintaining a sense of equilibrium within ourselves, engaging in activities that fill us up, and spending time with those we care about.
Mental health is also our sense of self-worth, our ability to form and sustain meaningful relationships, and our sense of connectedness to others are all components of mental health. A person’s mental health can range from being in crisis (with suicidal or self-harming thoughts and feelings) to struggling (with depression, anxiety, or panic attacks) to surviving (with apathy, low mood, or a feeling of disconnection) to thriving (with engagement in work and life) to excelling (with positive, productive mental health).
Events like stress, the loss of a loved one, a pandemic, and the current economic climate can all have a negative impact on someone’s sense of well-being.
Exactly what does “financial health” entail, then?
A healthy financial situation is one in which one’s expenses are less than one’s income, and one is also able to set aside some of one’s income for future use (a “mattress”). In a nutshell, we will be saving a small percentage of our monthly income and will not spend more than we earn.
Poor savings habits and a propensity for borrowing money are the symptoms we’ve been diagnosed with; financial literacy is the medicine we need.
Can our mental and physical well-being be affected by our financial situation?
There are three areas in which people’s worries are typically similar: money, health, and the workplace.
We fret over how to pay for college if we don’t get a scholarship, how to save for a down payment on a house or car, how to get around in retirement, how to afford a decent mattress, and so on. Depending on the individual, the stress, nervousness, and anxiety brought on by these money worries can be excruciating.
Because of this, it is crucial to maintain a healthy financial situation so that one can live comfortably and avoid the dreaded “financial stress” that develops when we are confronted with challenging financial circumstances.
How to maintain physical and mental well-being by taking care of one’s financial situation.
For reliable advice, we consulted Joyce Marter, author of The Financial Mindset Fix: A Mental Fitness Program for an Abundant Life, in which she emphasizes the significance of prudent financial management and provides a few pointers for accomplishing this. Want to know how to get your financial situation in order? Keep this in mind!
Money and Relationships
Several relational dysfunctions are mirrored in how one handles financial matters. Even someone who is wealthy and successful may constantly worry that they don’t have enough money. They are so dedicated to saving money that they refuse to spend it on anything remotely pleasurable. This person may suffer from chronic worries about “running out” of money or never being able to achieve their financial goal. We are not referring to someone who maintains a reasonable ratio of income to expenses. We are referring to an abnormal and unfounded worry that one will run out of funds.
There are usually clear signs about this person’s relationships that can be gleaned from this pattern. Possible explanations include the following: They share your anxiety about romantic relationships and think something like, “If I’m not always perfect, vigilant, or on the guard, people won’t love, accept, or appreciate me.”
They may become overly rigid and perfectionistic in all aspects of their lives, expecting the same from their partners, friends, and—most dangerously—their own children.
Distress, disillusionment, and isolation are all detrimental to connecting with others and can be exacerbated by these obstacles to wellness in relationships.
Impulsive and wasteful spending is another pattern that arise. It doesn’t matter how much money is earned, they always seem to be short of cash because they spend it as soon as they get it, whether that’s every week or every month.
A person with this pattern is constantly on edge out of fear of being left out or of having a “normal” life. Their interactions may be negatively impacted in a number of ways. An individual with this spending habit may also act rashly in romantic situations. They may ditch plans at the last minute, ignore loved ones in favor of “more exciting” pursuits, or even begin to isolate themselves because they have spent so much money on trivial matters.
The person’s loved ones, especially children and spouses, may also find this very trying. They may be so careless with their money that they miss the electric bill or buy a car without consulting their partner first. Trust, safety, and consistency are all eroded by this pattern, which is toxic to any relationship.
How they handle their finances is a direct reflection of their emotional state. Perhaps the person who makes risky financial decisions had a very authoritarian upbringing. Perhaps the child felt trapped because their parent was so obsessed with saving money. Perhaps this person made a solemn oath that they would never again feel financially entrapped, and as a result, they became a spendthrift.
This person’s resistance to authority stems in part from their early life, when their spending habits were a direct form of defiance in response to a controlling parent. They may be repeatedly let go from their jobs because they have such a strong aversion to “being controlled” that they refuse to act in accordance with the expected norms of professionalism.
A person is as confined as if they were living under lock and key if they cannot keep enough money to live, keep a job, or engage in healthy relationships. You’re still trapped, but in a different way.
While this person is only reacting to a painful pattern from their past, they are perpetuating the very feeling of confinement they so desperately try to avoid. Living under lock and key is preferable to the confinement that comes from not having enough money to eat, keep a job, or have meaningful relationships. It’s just another form of imprisonment.
This is just one example of how a single act of defiance (or self-preservation) in childhood can set a person on a path of dysfunction that will determine their financial future until they are ready to accept help.
Different from one another are one’s emotions and one’s fundamental convictions. We feel emotions when something in our environment triggers a reaction, or when we act in accordance with deeply held convictions that may or may not be helpful to us. You might have developed positive self-concepts like, “I am worthy,” “The world is inherently good,” “People support me,” and “I am safe” if you grew up in a stable household. Some of the most painful worldviews, like “I am worthless,” “People are inherently dangerous,” and “I always have to go it alone,” can be traced back to a childhood spent in a dysfunctional family.
In addition to influencing our career decisions, our fundamental beliefs also affect how we handle and make use of our money.
When one believes the world is against them, they may decide to keep their wealth hidden. A couple can grow apart financially if each member secretly takes out loans or racks up credit card debt without telling the other. It’s possible that they’ll hoard their money and never spend it. They might have to slum it or take jobs that are hopeless for them. They could be overburdened with work and paid too little.
On the other hand, if a person has solid values, they may begin saving early in life. They may decide to pursue higher education in a field that will both stretch and reward them, allowing them to one day give back to society. They might be able to have an honest and open conversation about money with their partner. When it comes time to negotiate a raise, they may be more confident in asking for what they believe they deserve.
It’s great news that dysfunctional core beliefs can be changed over time. Fortunately, there is hope for overcoming the difficulties associated with money and mental health.
Poor mental health has a direct and detrimental effect on our ability to make ends meet. Because of this, we may be less productive at work, more likely to make rash purchases, and more likely to waste money on luxuries like alcohol and drugs. When our financial situation is precarious, it can have a devastating effect on our psyche, increasing our risk of clinical depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma, PTSD, and even suicide. To address this problem, we must prioritize improving our mental health without neglecting our financial security.