Current economic conditions are escalating financial pressures and personal stress for many employees. With 44% of employees living paycheck-to-paycheck and 60% of employees very concerned about having enough money to make ends meet, according to the sixth annualMetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends, it is easy to see how financial uncertainty could add to someone’s daily stress; however, it is important to prevent economic challenges from also taking a toll on your health.

"As people witness an increasingly volatile market, worries about their own financial security seem inevitable for many Americans. However, left unchecked, stress could have a potentially negative effect on one’s health. If a person's stress leads to more serious illnesses, the person could experience an increased likelihood for out-of-pocket costs for doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and absences from work," said Ronald Leopold, M.D., vice president, MetLife Institutional Business.

While a good deal of everyday stresses may seem out of people’s personal control, there are effective ways for people to manage stress to increase their quality of life when the going gets tough. Leopold offers these insights to help individuals maintain peace of mind during trying times:

  • Listen to your body’s warning signs for stress. Teeth grinding, headaches, hyperventilation, heart palpitations, irritability and depression (among others) are all signs of stress. It is important to recognize these symptoms in order to address them before the situation escalates and more serious health conditions ensue.
  • Take stress relief seriously. Many employees may try to act as the super hero, juggling the pressures of their jobs, financial and familial obligations and other personal commitments. However, these individuals may become stressed to the point of incapacity. Nobody is immune from the potential negative effects of stress. Take action – meditation, walking and other exercise are all good outlets for stress. For more tips on living a healthy lifestyle, visit
  • Make the most of what you’re offered at work. Take advantage of benefits available to you through your employer. Financial protection products, including insurance products, can help you prepare for unplanned risks. Your employer may also provide access to financial planners. Wellness programs, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), gym discounts, child care services, commuter programs and adoption assistance programs are often available to ease personal and financial strains.

"Maintaining a sense of calm and security during tough economic times and a period of escalated demands at the workplace may be challenging, but keeping peace of mind is critical to maintaining one’s health," adds Dr. Leopold.

Celebrating 140 years, MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit


Karen Eldred
Joseph Madden