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Top 10 Ways to Lower Your Financial Stress
Debt Image Gallery
Debt Image Gallery

Financial stress can definitely cause you headaches, but did you know that it's also been linked to increased chances of gum disease? See more debt pictures.

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

How can a hole in your pocket cause a hole in your gums? The answer is stress. Financial stress affects more than your wallet: It can have a ripple effect on your health and interpersonal relationships. In no other process can our thoughts alter our bodily functions so sud­denly and so powerfully, illustrating the ultimate example of the mind-body connection.

Stress works an elite branch of your body's military, specially trained to take emergency action in response to major threats. As soon as your brain senses danger, it goes into fight-or-flight mode and sends orders to outposts in the adrenal and pituitary glands to mobilize the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These in turn send reinforcements to different areas of the body to increase blood pressure, heart rate, and energy for you to either fight or flee with all the might your body can muster. In a crisis, stress jolts us into action to save a life or meet an important deadline.

But if you were you to call stress into battle every day, your body would inevitably feel the consequences. Prolonged stress increases your chances of heart attack, diabetes, hair loss, depression -- and gum disease.

OK, so hearing that stress can make matters worse isn't exactly soothing, but the good news is that time and deliberate action can simultaneously improve your financial situation and release you from the grip of stress.

In this article, we'll tackle ten ways to do just that, starting with eliminating some of the mental obstacles that keep you financially stressed out -- like indecision.

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