How inflation and financial stress can impact mental health

How inflation and financial stress can impact mental health

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – One of the most common arguments is about money and right now, we’re all spending a lot of it. Inflation is impacting some people’s wellbeing and dynamics at home.

Talking and dealing with financial issues can be stressful, especially right now, and how most people deal with it all is the exact opposite of how they should.

“When people are experiencing a high level of stress, they tend to stop doing the very things that would help them deal with the stress,” said Larry Deavers, the executive director of Family Counseling Service of West Alabama. “We begin to make bad choices because of the stress and that just makes it that much worse.”

A few examples he gives are when people give up on eating healthy, exercise, routine, or contacting friends and family. Deavers says people need to keep up with these good habits and be conscientious about the choice they make.

Financial stress right now because of inflation might just be the tipping point for some people, causing more intensity within some households.

“The financial stress just exposes the fact that we really don’t spend very good quality time together, we really don’t know how to communicate our emotions to each other,” said Deavers. “When you have a lot of financial stress and there are more intense conversations, maybe more serious conversations, upsetting conversations even… what it really brings to ahead is the lack of communication skills.”

Deavers says growing those skills can soften the anxiety around having those needed ‘money talks.’

His biggest piece of advice is to learn how to not only hear, but really listen.

“If we can take on the attitude of just trying to listen and understand where they’re coming from, why they might be feeling that way,” he explained. “If we can truly meet that person where they are, a lot of times that just melts our defensiveness.”

Deavers says it’s important to focus on your health and wellbeing, even while under financial stress, so continue getting exercise, getting enough sleep and checking in with friends and family.

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