Is Living Paycheck To Paycheck Making You Sick?

According to a recent study conducted by CareerBuilder, nearly 80 percent of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck. These findings were more common among women who were surveyed, and increased three percent since a similar 2016 report. According to Investopedia, the expression “living paycheck to paycheck” is used to describe “an individual who would be unable to meet financial obligations if unemployed because his or her salary is predominantly devoted to expenses.” This category of employees is also referred to as “the working poor.” The CareerBuilder survey also found that nearly 3 in 4 workers said they were in debt and believed they always would be in debt.

Financial Woes & Your Health

Stress is defined as the body’s response to a real or imagined demand or threat of danger.  A study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) named money as the number one stress inducer among Americans, with work and the economy coming in second and third places. And according to Linda C. Gallo, PhD, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and one of the team of psychologists who worked on the report, “Money is a very frequent source of stress and unhealthy coping strategies are common. Also troubling are the disparities in stress exposure: women, parents, younger people and those living in lower income households all report higher levels of stress than others.”

Signs of stress include cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms according to HelpGuide.org.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying

Emotional Symptoms

  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Moodiness, irritability or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Other mental or emotional health problems

Physical Symptoms

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds or flu

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Gallo also said, “We know that emotional support is an important resource that helps people manage stress and protects against health problems. Yet 1 in 5 Americans report having no one to rely on, and some of the same groups who report high stress levels also report less social support.”

Stress Management

The APA survey revealed that stressed Americans are seeking out various stress-relief techniques and coping strategies. Of these, the most common unhealthy coping mechanism is smoking, which 14 percent of adults report as their stress reducer of choice. However, others are taking healthier actions to deal with stress. More than half of Americans (53 percent) exercise or take part in physical activity to cope with stress, and 12 percent of people use yoga or meditation to manage their stress.

Are you stressed about money or your financial status? How are you coping with stress? Leave your comments below.

Nicole Denise
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Nicole Denise

Editor In Chief at The Palm Beach Beat
Writer. Multimedia Content Creator. Business Owner. Lover not Fighter. Ambivert. Wanderlust Advocate.
Nicole Denise
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Nicole Denise

Writer. Multimedia Content Creator. Business Owner. Lover not Fighter. Ambivert. Wanderlust Advocate.

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