In one of the richest nations the world has ever known, far too many people are depressed about money. In fact, money and depression were linked in an American Psychological Association (APA) study, which found that some 72% of Americans feel stressed about money at least some of the time.
If you are among the people experiencing these concerns, you probably already know how the consequences of debt can diminish your mental and physical health, as well as your quality of life. Being depressed about money can make it difficult to sleep, undermine your self-esteem, and sap your energy. Anger, shame, fearfulness, mood swings, depression, and anxiety are also common symptoms.
The good news is you are not alone and there are things you can do to find relief.
Talk About It
There exists within this society a taboo related to conversations about money. It’s considered “impolite” to talk to people about their incomes or any other topics related to finances. Moreover, the culture of many companies actively discourages employees from having salary discussions with one another— even though it’s against the law for them to do so.
These “norms” can leave people feeling alone and ashamed when they are financially struggling. However, the best way to work through any problem is to talk about it with someone in whom you feel comfortable confiding.
In fact, talking about money can actually help you cope better. Getting the issue out in the open gives others an opportunity to share experiences from which you may learn to make better decisions, avoid mistakes and set attainable goals.
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Seek Professional Help
Many organizations offer counseling that includes help with managing debt, crafting a budget, and working with creditors. Even though society may have conditioned us to believe having financial issues is a sign of being a “loser,” money problems affect good people every day.
The key lies in finding the best solution for your situation.
In some cases, it could just be a matter of managing your money differently to make it go further. Working with a financial professional will bring a fresh pair of eyes to the situation. Credit counselors can help you take a look at what you’re spending and earning to help you adjust the ways you distribute your income.
In doing so, they might help you find areas in which you could use your money more efficiently to eradicate debt. Small changes like eliminating non-essential spending on a daily basis can help you find extra cash with which to get your debt back under control.
In some cases, you might be able to consolidate your debt to make paying it off easier. You could also work with a debt relief company to negotiate the amount you owe creditors, as well as try to eliminate fees and reduce your current interest rate. These strategies can get you closer to debt freedom more quickly.
Be Honest With Yourself
Sometimes, challenges arise from overindulging in gaming, spending to feel better about yourself, or trying to keep up with the Joneses. Issues such as these can severely debilitate your ability to manage your resources effectively. It’s important to take stock of your situation and address any such matters to rid yourself of the financial issues they could create in your life.
Ultimately, no matter how bleak the situation may look, you always have options. Yes, sometimes the consequences of debt may mean you’ll have to choose between the lesser of two undesirable ones. However, the ultimate result will be a happier, less stressful life in which you can feel good about your progress toward achieving financial freedom.