Healthy Finances, Healthy Heart
Chelsea Groton Bank FEBRUARY 2016

Mutual Matters



Financial Preparedness Could Mean a Healthier Heart

Heart HealthIt is no surprise that financial stress ranks among the top stressors in people's lives. Studies have shown that financial stress can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, migraines, fatigue, loss of focus, and more. In addition to the negative effects of the stress itself, people often adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as eating too much, making unhealthy food choices, and drinking too much, which also impacts the health issues that stressed individuals could be facing.

Achieve Financial Order
To help ensure you will be relieved of at least some of the financial stress (and potential heart issues) in your life, it's important to think about your current spending habits. Do you copy the habits of your parents, who may have had difficulty managing money? Did your income recently lessen, but your spending habits haven't slowed down? It's important to try to identify the behaviors that have occurred so they can be changed in the future.

Also, consider if your dependence on money goes beyond normal use for things like daily purchases and building savings for the future, but instead becomes a way to seek comfort, luxury, love, or power. Recognizing that money doesn't guarantee happiness can help to relieve some of the financial stress you may feel.

Finally, make a realistic budget and follow it. Having a budget can often be empowering. It will take time to get out of debt or financial hardship, but each day that you stick to a budget is a day closer to reaching your goals.

For additional ideas on jump-starting your savings, read the America Saves Week article in this edition of Mutual Matters.

Maintain a Healthy Heart
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease continues to be the number 1 cause of death for women in the United States. While men are more likely to suffer a heart attack, female heart-attack patients tend to fare worse in terms of recovery. American Heart Month is a great time to not only figure out ways to better deal with financial burdens, but to also focus on creating a healthier overall lifestyle, in order to lessen the risk of having heart issues in the future.

Take deep breaths, participate in a yoga class each week, and go for regular walks or trips to the gym to help relieve stress and improve your physical health. Also, try to make good decisions about the types of food you're consuming in order to maintain a healthy weight (the more colorful your plate, the better!). Finally, cut out (or limit) the amount of alcoholic, caffeinated and sugary drinks, and cigarettes, which can all increase blood pressure and damage artery walls.

For more information on heart health, including the latest research, tips for healthy living, news about Go Red for Women and more, visit the American Heart Association online.

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