Wellness Wednesday – How Does Filing Taxes Affect Your Health?

April 15th is quickly approaching, which means one thing…it’s the deadline to file your taxes! We’ve all been there – some enjoy the “rush” to wait until the last minute to file, but for most of us, it’s a constant reminder that we need to ‘Check this to-do off our list,’ and unfortunately – tax season brings about a wealth of stress related concerns.

According to the American Psychological Association, “…As Americans rush to file taxes by April 15, many name money as the number one factor that affects their stress level. A survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that seventy-three percent of Americans single out money, with thirty-three percent saying it is a very significant factor contributing to stress. Work, physical health and children follow next.”

What happens when stress hits you – even when you least expect it? Well, your heart rate can speed up, your muscles can tense – you can become chilled, or even have “hot flashes.” But sadly, stress can also seep into your cells.

The article from Live Science states, “…Rising temperatures, toxins, infections, resource shortages and other stressors threaten how cells function – and ultimately whether you’re healthy. Every cell in your body has its own “Doomsday Clock,” ticking down the number of times it can safely divide. This clock takes the form of a cap – called a telomere – on the ends of each chromosome. Like the plastic aglets on the tips of shoelaces, telomeres keep the chromosome from fraying. But telomeres get shorter every time the cell divides. Shortened telomeres have been linked to age-related diseases, such as arthritis, hypertension, stroke and diabetes, as well as the aging process itself.”

So how does one STOP being so stressed when it comes to filing taxes?!?

Well, here are five things that you can do when filing your taxes this year that just may make the process easier:

  1. Review your tax return’s figures to avoid IRS red flags.
  2. Seize every opportunity to lower your taxes due to work (i.e. tax credits)
  3. Don’t procrastinate – By rushing, you could lose out on a potential deduction!
  4. Don’t panic if you can’t pay what you owe – It’s called an IRS Installment Agreement, which is essentially a payment plan.
  5. Deal with back taxes – The IRS also has a tax forgiveness program called “Offer in Compromise.” Look it up – you can thank us later!

Check out these links below for more information on how this “Tax Season” can affect your stress levels and what to do to help!

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2004/03/money-stress.aspx

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/02/23/how-cope-with-stress-before-it-happens-may-affect-recovery-study-suggests/

http://www.livescience.com/20355-5-ways-cells-deal-stress.html

http://www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/eight-tips-to-reduce-tax-time-stress.html

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