Beta study: Unconditional basic income reduces stress

Beta study: Unconditional basic income reduces stress

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Unconditional basic income can reduce stress
More and more people suffer from stress and stressful illnesses. The competitive situation on the job market is making more and more people sick. Finland has been conducting a basic income study since the beginning of this year. Around 2,000 unemployed receive EUR 560 per month instead of the regular unemployment benefit. In addition, the recipients can work without the money being withdrawn. And nobody checks what the money is spent on. The study already shows one thing: the stress level is falling.

Basic income should provide security
The basic idea is not that someone survives the 560 euros a month, but that those affected have the security that this base is regularly on their account. The pilot project should show whether such an allowance can solve the existential uncertainty problem without control. In the Finnish unemployment benefit system, people who work part-time sometimes get less money than those who only receive unemployment benefits.

Motivation to look for a job
The unconditional basic income should also motivate the recipients to work if they can. A positive impact of the basic income can already be seen: The participants suffer much less from stress than during the time when they received unemployment benefits.

The fear disappears if they refuse a job for whatever reason. Sufferers report that their mental health has improved since then.

Basic income instead of Hartz IV?
There are many good arguments for unconditional basic income - and many good arguments against. The situation in Finland can, however, be transferred very well to people who have to live on Hartz IV funds. Whoever has to count on sanctions that keep him below the subsistence level if he (any) refuses a job is permanently insecure.

Stress makes you sick
Such stress has been shown to lead to a whole range of complications. These include mental disorders such as depression or anxiety disorders and various psychosomatic illnesses.

Insomnia, poor concentration, an unrealistic assessment of risks, inappropriate reactions, substance abuse and addictive behavior are all promoted by stress.

Think slowly
Psychology has long known that “slow thinking”, ie working through and reflecting on situations, is the prerequisite for making appropriate decisions. The more complicated the situation, the more so. Such rational thinking is indispensable, especially for the unemployed. Instead of grabbing one straw after another in panic and getting tangled up in senseless projects, you should check as objectively as possible: what can I do, what is my potential and how can I implement it?

Rational analysis instead of panic
From a biological point of view, stress is a physical reaction to danger - the body's own alarm systems are in full swing when our evolutionary program suggests the decision between flight and fight.

This makes sense if we are in immediate danger: If members of a street gang threaten us, we decide in a split second whether we should put them out of action or run away.

For our life planning, however, such reactions to immediate danger are counterproductive and can be fatal: If, for example, we are looking for a new apartment, it is better not to take the first one so that we have a roof over our heads.

Hartz-IV to get to work?
If we are looking for a job, then we should, with the help of others, assess how we can use our skills or skills that we do not yet have through further training. Both only work if we have basic security. In other words, the increased stress that unemployed people in the Hartz system are exposed to means that the goal of getting back to decent work is moving far away. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

Video: History of universal basic income (May 2022).