Does debt affect your health? We believe the answer is YES. We’re just starting to learn the hidden toll financial stress can take on your health and your life. It’s worse than you think.
Debt isn’t just bad for your finances, the hidden cost to your health from debt stress is significant. A growing body of research indicates that debt has dramatic costs on our mental and physical well-being. In August 2013, a study from Northwestern Medicine found that high financial debt is associated with higher diastolic blood pressure and poorer self-reported general and mental health in young adults.
The study joins an increasing body of research correlating high debt levels to unhealthy levels of stress. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Stress in America report, money is the leading cause of stress. Approximately seven in 10 Americans report physical or non-physical symptoms brought on by stress, including irritability, anger, fatigue, overeating and changes in sleep habits.
These studies confirm what most of us know from our own experiences: having debt can cause stress. If you find yourself experiencing unhealthy levels of stress due to your debt, take heart…you can reduce stress just by starting with a few proactive actions: