When left unmanaged or not managed properly, stress can end up costing you money or even your job. Based on the cost of stress-related illnesses and accidents, absenteeism, employee turnover, and decreased productivity, it’s estimated that stress costs U.S. employers some $300 billion per year.
What’s more, issues caused by stress can dig in to your personal finances in addition to your company’s budget. Money and work are the leading causes of stress in America, yet money and work are ironically the aspects that suffer the most from said stress. This makes a never-ending loop that can only be broken by reducing stress.
What can we do to mitigate, and possibly extinguish, this excessive cash outflow caused by stress? Fortunately, simple changes can make all the difference. However, it’s important to first understand the five main ways that stress hurts your wallet:
- Increased doctor’s visits due to stress-induced illnesses and injuries from accidents can rack up your medical bill, even with good health insurance. Stress can lead to or worsen serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, that are costly to treat.
- Behavioral health care diagnoses and treats mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and even obsessive-compulsive behaviors that can manifest as a result of too much stress. These health problems detract from your quality of life and bank account.
- Shopping as a coping method is a go-to for many people, whether they realize they’re doing it or not. The thrill and excitement of shopping for and purchasing new items is therapeutic as it combats the negative feelings of stress. However, this tendency quickly burns a hole in your pocket.
- Decreased productivity can hurt your income in several ways whether you’re paid a salary, hourly rate, or a commission. A decrease in your efficiency and effectiveness can hurt your bonus and hold you back from any potential promotions and pay raises. When you’re stressed, it’s harder to stay focused and driven, leading to decreased productivity.
- Dissatisfaction with your personal and/or professional life should be taken seriously. If you constantly find yourself fighting stress and hating every minute of the day, you need to make a change and fast. Finding satisfaction in your work and life can boost your mood and mental health, keeping you away from those expenses.
When you’re starting to feel stressed (in the workplace or at home), it’s important to remember ways you can lessen it. Consider developing a healthy stress response, such as cooking or exercising, instead of turning to binge eating or drinking. You could even adopt a pet as they are great companions and stress-relievers.
At work, you can set clear goals and expectations so you know exactly what you’re working towards. Set some boundaries with your business hours, paid time off, and breaks. Most Americans don’t use all of their allotted vacation time, but it’s vital for people to be refreshed in order to stay productive.
Check out the infographic below, provided by Credit.com, for more information regarding the cost stress and how to reduce it.