In the fight for holistic well-being, sometimes it’s easy to make connections between the causes that lead to our stress, anxiety, and overall mental health. Our to-do lists, relationships, and jobs get the most highlights as we work toward places of health and wholeness. But one area that is often overlooked is our finances.
Finances are closely linked with mental health. And the two can become a double-edged sword, feeding off of each other negatively to a point where your poor financial habits don’t just cause poor mental health, but your mental health can begin to negatively impact your financial habits as well. Before we reach that vicious cycle, let’s shed light on three financial enemies that may be attacking your mental health so we can play some strategic defense.
- Lack of financial planning
Not every personality type enjoys budgeting and financial planning, but everyone needs it. So, let’s talk about how you can prevent this enemy from getting to your mental health. It may not need to be said, but when you don’t have a system for how your dollars come in or out of your bank account, you are setting yourself up for failure. No matter how good of a gauge you have on your accounts, a detailed budget is still needed. This rings true especially when that unwelcome car maintenance shows up. Or when eggs cost a whole lot more than they used to. Make a plan for your money so you can be aware and in control of your spending. This is also a good time to introspectively ask yourself, Do I cope with stress and anxiety by spending money? Am I aware of my financial planning habits? There are so many financial tools and plans to get you on track. Don’t be afraid to invest in a plan that will set you up for success in your budgeting and planning.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Comparison is also what tends to feed our greed. When we become people of greed, there is an obvious tie to finances–it leads to buying more, needing more, and craving more. But, let’s make the connection to what greed also does to our mental health. It’s pretty difficult to be greedy and grateful at the same time, but only one of those traits leads to our mental well-being. When we allow the enemy of greed to take root, we can potentially suffer financially, but the more dangerous effect is the suffering we experience mentally. Let’s ask ourselves these questions to keep greed at bay, How often do I compare myself and my belongings to others? Do I place too high of a value on things to make me happy? Remind yourself that God provides what you need, not ads. There are more important things than the brands we can afford. The sooner we learn this, the sooner we’ll expel this enemy from its attack!
There is a fine line between being prepared and holding our finances too tightly. At first glance, you might read this and think–Wait a minute, you just said to get in control of my finances and make a plan! This is true. But an underlying grip of control on our finances can become an enemy to our mental health. God desires for us to practice wisdom and responsibility with our money, but He’s still the One in control. If you find yourself in a place where you are relying on your ability to plan financially, rather than on God’s provision, you might be in danger of the “control” enemy’s attack. Ask yourself, Do I obsess over finances? Do I allow my budgeting and my control to become all-consuming in my thoughts?
Yes, there are enemies lurking, but there is also the power to overcome them. If any of these enemies are attacking your mental health, reach out to someone who can help! Did you know there are coaches ready to tackle financial issues that are stealing your mental health? We’d love to walk alongside you with practical tools to get to a place of well-being.
You’re going to find strength in the absence of these three enemies. Fight for your financial health and fight for your mental health!