Money problems can (literally) be a pain in the neck.
Think about it: We know that stress can manifest itself as physical pain, but did you ever think that the source of that stress is coming from your wallet?
Financial insecurity is a major cause of stress in America, and if you’ve ever struggled with your finances or had trouble making ends meet, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And that literal pain in your neck might be directly related to your money problems.
How Money Problems Can Be a Major Stressor
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a scientific study to tell me that money issues can be a major stressor. But it’s really interesting to see that research is now linking the pain people experience directly to financial woes. Using six experiments, researchers from the University of Virginia revealed that financial insecurity causes physical pain, reduces pain tolerance, and predicts over-the-counter painkiller consumption.
And this all makes perfect sense if you ask me. Pain and a weakened immune system are both common in individuals who experience high levels of stress.
Now, because cash windfalls aren’t particularly common, reducing pain associated with financial stress requires a multifaceted approach.
When you’re low on money, it’s very easy to focus on all the things you can’t do. It’s isolating. And although ignoring financial trouble is harmful, so is obsessing over it.
One of the things you can do is to take a look at your finances and develop a plan. When you know what your needs are, what you owe, and what your expenses are, you can create a budget. Once that’s done, you can focus your attention elsewhere.
Finding ways to eliminate stress and keep your mind off your troubles is also central in this battle. Spending time with friends, practicing meditation, tai chi, yoga and mindfulness, and getting out for some physical activity are all inexpensive ways to stay occupied, relieve stress, and manage or eliminate pain.
Natural Anti-Inflammatories to Relieve Your Stress
Also, if money is a concern, you don’t want to be spending it on painkillers when there are a number of natural, cheaper options you might already have at home. A couple of effective natural anti-inflammatories are:
- Turmeric: You can make a tea with this common spice or put into capsules and use one to two grams per day.
- Capsaicin: The active ingredient in chili peppers can be diluted and mixed into a cream (.25–.75%) and rubbed into areas in pain. Just remember to dilute it enough to prevent burning.
Don’t let short-lived money troubles cause you debilitating pain. Stick to your plan and the problems will take care of themselves—they usually do.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Whiteman, H., “Money Worries Drive Physical Pain, study finds,” Medical News Today web site, February 22, 2016; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306874.php, last accessed February 24, 2016.
Robinson, K., “Can supplements help with pain?” Web MD, July 9, 2015; http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/prevention-15/vitamins/chronic-pain-relief, last accessed February 24, 2016.