Moolah madness

by • 2 June 2010 • Dr Linda Friedland, Expert Opinion - HEALTHY AND HAPPYComments Off85

coins in a jarCan the credit crunch make us ill ?

As each day passes and more people are retrenched, you may be worrying about your own personal job security. You may be anxious about your mortgage and your ability to pay the bills. What is your response? Grab another cigarette? May as well finish off the cold pizza from yesterday’s dinner and pour myself a third tot?

The current ill-health of the world economy is making people sick. This is according to a survey carried out jointly by the UK’s Blood Pressure Association and the insurance company Friends Provident. They found that two-thirds of British people feel less well than they did three years ago. Researchers say the credit crunch and concerns about the economy are driving up stress levels and making people ill.

Now 56 percent of people are buying cheaper food in a bid to cut costs, with 15 percent cutting back on fresh fruit and vegetables. Around 10 percent of people said they were now drinking more alcohol than before the credit crunch first hit. Stress caused by the economic situation has also driven about eight percent of nonsmokers to start smoking.

Researchers say the credit crunch and concerns about the economy are driving up stress levels and making people ill.

Losing your job can make you ill, but even if you do manage to find a new job quickly, you still face a heightened risk of developing hypertension, heart disease, heart attack, stroke or diabetes, stemming from the early job loss. “In today’s economy, job loss can happen to anybody,” says Kate Strully, who conducted research at the Harvard School of Public Health. “We need to be aware of the health consequences of losing our jobs and do what we can to alleviate the negative effects,”.

The study revealed that for those who lost their job – white or blue collar -through no fault of their own, poor health increased by 54 percent, and among respondents with no pre-existing health conditions, it increased the odds of a new health condition by 83 percent.

The mental effects beget a risk of depression and anxiety. There is no doubt that the incidence of suicide has increased significantly since the beginning of the credit squeeze.

Your property may be worth less, your assets (if you still have) may be far less valuable, but every thing that is truly lovable is within you. Embrace the real sources of meaning in your life – your family, your passions and your belief system. Build your outer strength with physical exercise (don’t give up your gym membership just yet!) and find the time to eat the most nutritious foodstuffs. Build your inner strength by confronting your emotions and learning how to release your stress with meditation and breathing.

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