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By Latwanas Stephens

Has a spouse lost a job? Has the household income been reduced by 30, 40 or even 50%? Are you arguing daily over how the bills will get paid?  Has the government cut back on your hours?  Have you received a pink slip and don’t know where to turn? Does this all sound familiar or has this happened to you or someone around you?  What if you could find a solution?  Do you know the health risk of financial stress?  Imagine being debt free or at least starting the process.  Imagine paying your bills on time.  Imagine being able to buy your kids the things they want and not having to say no because of lack.  Have you lost your dreams due to not knowing where to begin?  Are your dreams still like a little whisper deep down inside of you?

Can money buy happiness? What about not having money, are you happier when you are broke? The truth is it does not matter whether or not you are rich or poor, if you stress about your finances, you have already begun to dig your grave. The vast majority of Americans are living with stress related health problems that could currently be the cause of or lead to the deterioration of your physical and mental well being. If you are one of those people that value family, long life, and your health over money, you may have another perspective after learning that not having control over your financial situation kills Americans every day.

How many Americans are living with financial stress? According to government statistics over 1 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2006. Another survey taken indicated that only about 2% of Americans actually have money in a savings account while the average American household has over $8,000 in credit card debt. Financial worries have been cited as the leading cause of chronic stress, causing 25% of Americans to miss approximately 16 days a year of work. You get the picture right?  This can be your death ticket.  Good news is, it doesn’t have to be.

What exactly is chronic stress? Chronic stress is the type of stress that is with you every morning when you wake up and every night when you go to sleep with no determined end in sight. Chronic stress will wear you down, day after day, year after year. Chronic stress grinds away at your mental and physical health leading to mental breakdown and can even cause death.

Stress is a silent killer that will wear the body down! Count how many of these health problems you have and the medication you take to treat the side effect rather than the cause of the problem: Physical stress related illnesses include; headache, chest pain, fast heart beat, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, muscle aches, clenched jaws, grinding teeth, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, stomach cramping or bloating, cold sweaty hands, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain or loss, diminished sex drive and skin problems.

Let’s take a look at the impact that chronic stress causes on your mental well being; anxiety, restlessness, worrying, irritability, depression, sadness, anger, mood swings, feeling of insecurity, lack of concentration, confusion, forgetfulness, resentment, guilt, tendency to blame others for how you feel, tendency to see only the negative aspects of people and situations. How many of these side effects are you currently living with? If you are experiencing chronic stress due to your finances you can look forward to a life full of health and mental problems. Mental problems also cause social problems. If you have a hard time maintaining meaningful relationships or getting along with family members it is highly likely due to chronic stress.

All of the mental problems caused by chronic stress are also related directly to behavioral problems. These behavioral problems such as; overeating/loss of appetite, sudden outbursts with little provocation, increased use of drugs and alcohol, increased smoking, withdrawal or isolation, crying spells, changes in close relationships, job dissatisfaction, decreased productivity and burn out.  This is all preventable.  You do not have to live this way.  There is a way out!  You can save yourself today.

Change your life and start making a difference in your health and your finances, the results will  be felt immediately.

For more from Latwanas, read her personal blog and follow her on twitter

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