Economic stress and mental health

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Joe Dispenza
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Economic stress and mental health

What is economic stress? How does it affect us day after day? And in our way of planning the future? In this article we will address this and other questions.

Last update: June 12, 2020

Sometimes we collapse. Several situations lead us to a point of no return, among them there is economic stress. In times of crisis, worries multiply. But what is the relationship between economic stress and our mental health? What strategies can we use to manage it? What do they consist of?



In days of extreme concern about what is happening and what it will be, it is important to understand what happens to our body, our mind and our emotions. But also knowing how it affects our areas of control.

What is economic stress?

Stress is a "tension caused by stressful situations that cause psychosomatic reactions or sometimes severe psychological disturbances".

When we talk about economic stress, we are referring to stress related to the assets and activities that make up the wealth of a community or individual. There are several factors that cause economic stress, including:

  • Facing new situations. For example, new investments, crises, etc.
  • Financial problems, that is, when we fail to meet financial commitments.
  • Couple discussions where finances are involved.
  • Pressure. Because the day is getting closer and closer to paying or because we need money and we don't know where to get it from.

Stress is also a psychophysiological response to a request from the environment. It is not only related to what we think, but also to what we feel and our conduct.



Therefore, it also manifests itself with physical, mental and emotional reactions. Even in the ways we interact with the environment and with others.

The impact of stress on mental health

Stress has a great impact on our mental health, because through our thinking we feed tension, which manifests itself together with our emotions; these are often fraught with pessimism and frustration.

A common practice is to feed anxiety by thinking too much about the future. When we are suffering from economic stress, the following complications begin to arise:

  • Difficulty relaxing.
  • Perennial feeling of overwhelm.
  • Irascibility.
  • Sadness.
  • Guilt.
  • Obsessive thoughts.
  • Worry.
  • Disorganization.
  • Pessimism.

We can also experience depression, nervous breakdowns, shame, fear, confusion, excessive self-criticism, difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Symptoms present themselves differently depending on the person. Genetic, learning, social, vital, consciousness factors, etc. they depend on it.

Although economic stress has a strong impact on mental health, which can sometimes lead to the ailments listed, it works in conjunction with other areas that are important to our health, such as physical and social.

For example, our mood swings can cause discomfort in others and change our social relationships. Other times, we opt for isolation.

Recent studies investigate the effect of social support strategies in people suffering from economic stress. According to some scholars, the perception of social support appears to be directly related to health and interacts with comparison strategies.

  • On a physical level it can be highlighted: blood pressure instability, muscle tension, increased cholesterol, sleep disturbances, contractures, palpitations, fatigue, headaches, etc.
  • Behaviorally, there is an increase in appetite, a reduction in physical activity, a tendency to avoid or postpone responsibilities, restlessness, nail biting, etc.

It is clear that several factors interact with each other contributing to economic stress.



How to cope with economic stress?

To cope with economic stress, we need to know ourselves well. When we know what we want, where we want to go and what our obstacles are, we are closer to achieving what makes us feel good. Most of the time, stress occurs because we don't meet all of our needs.


In order not to feel overwhelmed, you must therefore set priorities. Above all, it is important to know how to manage our basic needs, but also to avoid toxic thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

Once identified, we can begin to understand how to best manage them. It does not mean eliminating them from our life, but recognizing when it is time to stop.

On the other hand, it is essential to pay attention to what we are exposing ourselves to. Economic stress, many times, is associated with a crisis that other people are also going through or that comes from a major change in the system. It's okay to share experiences, but if it's harmful to us, it's important to stay away from them.


Taking a break can help. It would be good to consider what circumstances are causing us economic stress and organize them according to the degree of control we exercise over them. In this sense, planning things intelligently and consistently can help us a lot.

Social support also plays an important role. Very often we do not ask for help and do not enjoy the resources we have at our disposal. Physical health should not be neglected either, in fact sport is a useful tool to reduce stress, because it allows us to release endorphins.

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