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Is financial stress affecting your physical and mental health?

(NC) For many of us, financial worries are the greatest source of stress – greater than health, work or family obligations. In fact, according to a recent study, 40 per cent of Canadians say they are overwhelmed by debt, while 48 per cent say they’ve lost sleep due to financial worries. And financial stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.

The sources of this stress are many, and may include high debt levels, living paycheque to paycheque, managing household expenses and struggling to save money for short- and long-term goals. It affects Canadians of all income levels and age groups.

Impacts of financial stress on your physical and mental health

According to a research by the Center for Financial Services Innovation, if you are dealing with financial stress, you are:

  • Twice as likely to report poor overall health;
  • Four times as likely to suffer from sleep problems, headaches and other illnesses;
  • More likely to experience strain in your personal relationships.

Financial stress can also lead to more serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

Financial concerns impact your work

Budgetary stress can prevent you from focusing on the things that matter the most to you, and it’s not something you can leave at home. According to the Canadian Payroll Association’s Employee Research Survey, almost half of working Canadians admit that stress related to personal finances impacts their performance at work. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The benefits of investing in your financial well-being

When you invest in your financial well-being by strengthening your financial knowledge, skills and confidence you will see many benefits. These may include:  

  • Better mental and physical well-being: the absence of stress over financial issues reduces anxiety.
  • Higher productivity: without financial stress, you will be less distracted, which will allow you to be more focused and productive in your personal and professional life.
  • Increased confidence in yourself: research shows increased confidence enables you to better successfully manage your day-to-day finances.

While managing your money may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Whether it’s debt, a mortgage, your kids’ education or retirement savings that’s weighing on your mind, there are free and unbiased resources to help. Find more information at canada.ca/money.