In my last blog, I suggested the most important factor in a balanced lifestyle is physical health. The second is emotional health.
People who are emotionally healthy have greater control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and are more able to cope with life challenges. They keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks and they feel good about themselves and have good relationships (more on relationships in my next blog).
Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems and, similarly, poor emotional health can negatively impact on physical health leading into an increased risk of some conditions, such as heart attacks.
Common causes of poor emotional health are stress of work and money worries.
Work-related stress is often caused by demands at work that exceed how much an employee can cope with; more than 11 million working days are lost each year because of work-related stress, which can then contribute to conditions such as anxiety or depression.
Many people worry about money and one of the most common reasons why couples argue is money. These arguments are rarely about having too much money!
As a financial planner, I see a lot of people – usually business owners and members of the professions – who are working far too hard for many reasons, but quite often because they think they need more and more money.
In many cases, this is a fallacy. When they know how much is ‘enough’ they can often ease off, get a better lifestyle, and lose a lot of their stress and money worries.
Financial planning can help work-related stress by identifying how much a person needs to earn to give them the lifestyle that they want without having to work for long hours in a stressful environment. I have seen many clients relieved that they can walk away from jobs they hate.
Being financially well organised can relieve a lot of money worries. I tell my clients that with an ongoing financial plan they only need to worry about money for three or four hours a year, as part of their annual review. After that, they can spend the rest of the year focusing on what’s important, knowing that the financial aspect of their lives being well managed.
One of the best parts of my job is being able to tell people when they can stop doing the things that don’t want to do and start doing things they do want to do.
Do not let work-related stress and money worries affect your emotional health. Remember: the quality of your life is often a direct result of the quality of your emotional health.