Dealing with Stress in Canada

Recognizing the Symptoms and Causes of Stress

There are many signs and symptoms of stress, including physical symptoms such as chest pain, panic attacks, constant tiredness, frustration and nervous habits, nervousness and anxiety, and so on. Other signs of stress include headache, sore or blurred eyes, heartburn or ingestion, and shallow breathing: People who are stressed often have nightmares, pick at their skin, bite their nails, snap or yell at others, and find it hard to make decisions. Stress is a serious condition that can affect all aspects of life, and it is important to go to the root of the problem to deal with stress.

Many people in Canada have too many responsibilities to handle, coupled with difficult issues at home and at work. Many of us worry about something and are under pressure. Not having enough work or working long hours is also an issue. Emotional problems, personal beliefs, and social issues can cause stress as well. People who are unable to relate or find it difficult to express their emotions are often stressed out. Anxiety, depression, and different mental health conditions add to this. Some people argue about political, religious, and personal beliefs, and it is especially hard when relatives or family members are involved (they can't remove themselves from an argument or a conflict situation). Major changes or life events cause stress as well because people tend to question their personal beliefs. Finally, social issues cause stress, including crime-ridden cities and regions, unsafe neighborhoods, and discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, race, etc.

How to Deal with Stress?

Stress is usually the result of economic, social, physical, or emotional factors that require a major change or response. With traumatic and life-threatening events such as natural disasters or death of a loved one, it is a good idea to seek professional help (counseling). If it is job-related stress, as many Canadians report, it is important to recognize the aspects unique to the job that cause stress. These can be isolation on the job, air quality or noise, lack of skill or training, hours of work and workload, shifts, etc. Alternatively, career development can be a cause of stress, including opportunities for development, job security, or under-promotion. The first step to deal with stress is to identify the stress factor. If it is the lack of skill or training, additional training may be of help. If it is job security, then applying for a new job can help reduce stress levels. Poverty and indebtedness often cause a lot of stress, and many Canadians are heavily indebted. Dealing with debt is the obvious solution, and there are ways to go about this, depending on factors such as debt load, types of credit, credit history, and so on. People who are knee-deep in debt can choose from different solutions, including debt management, credit counseling, debt consolidation, and others. A balance transfer credit card, for example, is a good alternative for borrowers who have lots of debt on their cards. This is an option for Canadians with multiple credit cards and cards with high interest. A balance transfer offers the opportunity to use a single card with a very low or zero interest rate to pay off debt quickly. Financial institutions also offer perks and incentives such as money back, concierge, attractive insurance packages, and more

There are other ways to deal with stress, from fitness, walking, golf, skiing, and jogging to going on vacation and going out with friends. A long weekend or gateway is also a great way to reduce stress and spend time with one's partner, husband, or friends.

Canadians Are Stressed Out Financially

More and more Canadians are stressed out financially because of poor financial management and budgeting, overspending, splurging, and excessive credit card and mortgage debt. Those with poor credit are often forced to resort to bad credit and payday loans and fall into a spiral of debt: . Excessive debt load often goes hand in hand with low income and leads to stress. The same goes for unpaid bills, missed and later card payments, and missed mortgage payments.

Causes of Financial Stress

The main reasons why Canadians are stressed out financially include low savings rates, high debt load and multiple loans and credit cards. Low savings rates mean that many Canadians are unable to save enough for a rainy day to be financially stable and secure. Having an emergency fund (whether a savings account or high-interest savings account) helps cover emergency expenses such as cellphone and laptop breaks, house damages due to storms, termites, etc., electrical and plumbing problems, health problems, family emergencies and so on. A high debt load is also a major cause of stress, and many Canadians live paycheck to paycheck. Some people are unable to meet basic necessities such as gas and electricity bills, food, phone bills, and more. People with multiple credit cards, mortgages, high-interest personal and car loans, and other types of debt face a high risk of default, delinquency, and foreclosure. Missed and late payments often result in penalty rates which mean more debt and a blemished credit score.

Consumption and consumerism (like splurging on vacation or things you don't need: ) are said to be the main culprits for this. Poor money management and financial literacy also explain why many Canadians have high debt loads. They are unable to make financially responsible decisions when it comes to spending, saving for long-and short-term projects and goals, etc. Financially literate people know how to avoid excessive debt, have a savings account, and use their credit cards responsibly. In fact, financial literacy is essential and impacts all aspects of life, from your retirement income, children's college education and buying a home or a vacation home to refurbishments and renovations, meeting daily expenses, and more.

A high debt load often results in a tarnished credit score. Unions, banks, and other financial institutions are often unwilling to extend credit to applicants who are considered high risk. People with poor credit are in the high-risk category. Such applicants either see their applications rejected or are offered unfavorable interest rates.

What to Do

The best thing to do is to learn more about basic financial concepts such as interest rates, mortgage term and payments, prepayment penalties, penalty rates: It is also a good idea to learn more about financial products such as checking and savings accounts, mortgage insurance, secured and unsecured debt, specialty credit cards, and others. Money wise people have an emergency fund and not only that, they know what to do if things get wrong. They are familiar with different debt management solutions such as debt consolidation, credit card balance transfer, credit counseling, and others. Choosing the right solution depends on factors such as types of credit and debt load and is a way to save on interest and avoid bankruptcy.