Life isn’t all about money. But when you are short on this essential commodity, it sure can feel that way. Scrimping and saving become embedded into your unconscious, and you constantly worry about not having enough. As such, not having enough money can eventually harm your well-being.
Money is so important to health that epidemiologists actually control it in their studies. If they want to, say, look at the effect of smoking on mortality, they must always factor out income (since it is independently associated with health and longevity through multiple other channels).
Therefore, it is something you need to take seriously if you want to achieve lasting well-being. Struggling for money will eventually take its toll, as this post explains. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why not having enough cash is just plain bad for your health.
Stress And Chronic Conditions
Evidence suggests that stress can make chronic conditions worse. Additional cortisol coursing through your system worsens things like heart disease and diabetes, adding extra inflammation (and lack of recovery) to the mix. It can also increase the likelihood of developing obesity by encouraging you to binge on food to improve your mood.
Lacking money can also lead to low self-esteem. Not having enough can alter how you feel about yourself and your worth as a person.
This sensation comes from a culture that values people’s capacity to build material wealth and acquire resources. Those with more money are celebrated, while those who aren’t quite as good at it go around feeling bad about themselves.
Not having enough money can also lead to social isolation. You may feel cut off from others and be unwilling to participate in social activities, exacerbating feelings of loneliness.
For example, you might not be able to afford club dues or go out to dinner with friends and pay your share. You might also find it hard to get around to meet people because of transport costs, encouraging you to stay in the home.
Unhealthy Eating Habits
Lower incomes can also lead you to adopt unhealthy eating practices. Seeing the prices of fresh produce, you may decide that you’re better off getting cheap stuff in packets in the middle of the store.
Unfortunately, this logic can be counterproductive. The more junk you eat, the worse you feel, and the less likely you are to engage in healthy behaviors that will improve your overall well-being and quality of life.
Of course, there are things you can do to improve your financial situation. Gold Rush recommends selling valuables, but there are other options.
For example, you might consolidate your debts into a single payment, downsize your accommodation, or even sell your car and cycle everywhere for a while until you deal with your troubles. You might also take a side hustle, if that’s something available to you, or ask to put in more hours temporarily at work. Usually, you can work your way out of the most serious financial hurdles in six months. Who knows, it could also boost your health.