There is nothing more stressful than money. Well, lack of money to be precise. We think not…
Ever had that stomach dropping moment when you’re card gets declined, or felt the paralysing fear of checking your bank balance after a night of one too many cocktails? We certainly have. And it appears there’s a real scientific reason behind these feelings.
A series of studies from the University of Virginia found a strong link between financial woes and increased physical pain. Yep, you’re bank account it actually hurting you.
The study looked at 33,720 US homes and found that the households where both adults were unemployed spent 20% more of their disposable income on painkillers. Crikey, that’s quite the depressing stat.
The worries don’t go away if you have a job I’m afraid. The researchers completed another study – this time online – in which economically insecure individuals where questioned. The results found that the participants felt more physical pain during periods of financial insecurity. In other words, if you are already feeling the strain caused by your dwindling bank balance you are more likely to be sceptical to pain.
Apparently the reason this happens is that we now see economic threats the same way as we used to see predators, and our bodies act accordingly.
Eileen Chou, from the University of Virginia said: “Results from six studies establish that economic insecurity produces physical pain, reduces pain tolerance, and predicts over-the-counter painkiller consumption.”
While this news seems pretty bleak, the researchers hope that now this link is more understood they will be able to do more work into how they can help treat the problem. Fingers crossed.