Mental health and financial health are closely linked. Being in a difficult financial position can have a negative impact on your mental health, and mental health concerns can be exacerbated by poor financial wellbeing.

The UK’s Money and Mental Health Policy institute are leading the way in research into the link between money and mental health, finding that nearly half (46%) of those people in financial debt also have a mental health problem and 86% of those experiencing mental health problems reported their financial situation contributed negatively to their mental health.

Financial stress is not just the inability to meet financial commitments, overwhelming debt or a lack of money. For some financial stress can result
from a lack of confidence when managing money, one overdue bill or anxiety around future financial safety.

The Financial Health Institute defines Financial stress as “a condition that is the result of financial and/or economic events that creates anxiety,
worry, or a sense of scarcity, and is accompanied by a physiological stress response”. Whether you are worried about your retirement, debts, or your children’s future, financial stress is a particularly complex and destructive form of stress that can significantly reduce levels of mental health and wellbeing.

Key indicators of financial stress

Financial stress can have a significant and adverse effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing, such as:

Strategies to improve your financial wellbeing and mental health

Once you notice your stress responses linked to your financial wellbeing, it is important to find effective ways to manage your financial stress

Reaching out to a friend

For some talking about mental health with loved ones can be a challenging and confronting conversation. The same applies when talking about financial wellbeing, particularly when you are struggling. However, speaking in an open manner to a safe and trusted friend can serve to start the process and acknowledge the link between mind and money. As a natural consequence, things may start to seem less intimidating than they did before.

Seeking professional counselling support

Financial stress and Mental Health concerns have a cause and effect relationship. Speaking with a professional may assist in further developing your tool kit to cope with financial distress such as developing ways to challenge unhelpful thinking patterns, overcome avoidant behaviour and improve emotion regulation when addressing your financial matters.

Seek professional financial support

Getting practical advice from an expert is always a good idea. Whatever your circumstances gaining helpful information, strategies and advice to better improve your financial wellbeing can assist in reducing your financial stress and ensure you are tracking forward with your financial concerns

Manage your overall stress

Make time for yourself each day, step away from the constant worry by engaging in activities that bring you pleasure and increase your relaxation, such as exercising, going for a walk, journaling, meditating, practicing mindfulness and deep breathing. Ensure you practice good sleep health to provide your mind the best opportunity to reset during your sleep hours and improve concentration, focus and resilience for the following day.

Final Words

Understanding the link between mind and money, and actively seeking help early with financial difficulties can help alleviate further distress for those who are already vulnerable or struggling with mental health concerns.