Link Between Economic Stress & Physical Pain




A recent study, conducted by the Association for Psychological Science (APS), suggests people with financial worry experience more physical pain than those without.


In six different studies, researchers looked at these variables:


  • Economic insecurity.
  • Control over one’s life.
  • Unemployment.
  • Living in a state with high unemployment.
  • Painkiller consumption.
  • Recollection of periods of economic instability.
  • Uncertain job markets.


In the different studies, researchers measured physical pain against these variables with a four-item pain scale and the length of time participants could keep their hand in cold water.


Worrying about money all the time isn’t healthy. “In five studies, we found that economic insecurity produced physical pain and reduced pain tolerance. In a sixth study, with data from 33,720 geographically diverse households across the United States, economic insecurity predicted consumption of over-the-counter painkillers,” reports the APS.


If you find yourself with a heavy financial burden, there are many ways you can take action to improve your situation, including paying off debt and taking a closer look at your investments.


Here are some recommendations from Gordon Pape, publisher of Wealth Builder, from his article, “How to Stop Worrying: A four-step plan to fixing your finances”:


 1. Pay off debt

If you’re still working, pay off as much debt as possible before you retire. If that’s not possible, Pape suggests shopping around for the lowest interest rates available.


 2. Make financial safety a priority

Take a look at your investments and consider their risk. If you’re older and the investments are aggressive and risky, consider moving that money to cash or short-term bonds.    


3. Understand what you’re investing in

Be skeptical of “get rich fast” or “risk-free” investments. Always ask for thorough explanations of new investment products, and if you still don’t understand them, consider walking away.


4. Ask for help

Unless you’re a financial professional, the investment world can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to navigate. Reach out to your financial professional for help.


Pape also suggests reviewing results after every quarter and choosing a fee-based professional who charges a small percentage of your total assets so there’s an incentive to work harder for you. “The greater the value of your account, the more they collect. Win-win scenarios work best for all concerned,” he explains.


If you don’t already have a financial professional, Forbes recommends asking these during your search for one:


  1. Are you a fiduciary?
  2. How do you charge for your services? And what are the costs?
  3. What credentials, licenses, or certifications do you have?
  4. What services do you provide?
  5. What types of clients do you work with?
  6. Could I see a sample financial plan?
  7. What is your investment approach?
  8. What’s your communication style?
  9. Will I work with only you or a team of people?
  10. What makes your client experience unique?


What are ways you’ve avoided financial hardship? Join our Community and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.