It physically hurts to be financially insecure
Washington D. C, Feb 22 : Financial stress can go from wreaking havoc on your wallet to ruining your health and now, a new study has found that money worries may lead to physical pain.
People who feel that their financial outlook is shaky may actually experience more physical pain than those who feel financially secure, according to the University of Virginia study. The findings indicate that the link may be driven, at least in part, by feeling a lack of control over one's life.
Lead author Eileen Chou said that overall, the findings reveal that it physically hurts to be economically insecure, adding that results from six studies establish that economic insecurity produces physical pain, reduces pain tolerance and predicts over-the-counter painkiller consumption.
The research stemmed from an observation of two co-occurring trends: increasing economic insecurity and increasing complaints of physical pain.
The researchers hypothesized that these trends might actually be linked. They surmised that feelings of economic insecurity would lead people to feel a lack of control in their lives, which would, in turn, activate psychological processes associated with anxiety, fear, and stress. These psychological processes have been shown to share similar neural mechanisms to those underlying pain.
Chou and colleagues wrote that individuals' subjective interpretation of their own economic security has crucial consequences above and beyond those of objective economic status.
By showing that physical pain has roots in economic insecurity and feelings of lack of control, the current findings offer hope for short-circuiting the downward spiral initiated by economic insecurity and producing a new, positive cycle of well-being and pain-free experience, they concluded.
The study appears in Psychological Science. (ANI)
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