Debt can affect your life in so many ways. In most cases, the effects are less than satisfactory. You have to realize that your credit obligations put some form of monetary restriction that keep you from enjoying the fruits of your income. If you cannot buy the things that you want today because you have to prioritize your debt payments, that is caused by the past decisions that you made.
One of the negative effects that can make debt very dangerous is debt stress. This is the constant feeling of worry that can lead to all sorts of serious ailments and illnesses. If you let your debts get out of control, you are putting not just your finances in danger, but also your health.
How debt increases your stress level
A WebMD article entitled “The Debt Stress Connection” pointed out some very interesting ideas about debt stress.
Jay Winner, MD, the author of Take the Stress Out of Your Life, stated that stress is our body’s way of pumping adrenaline in our body during specific events. It ignites the natural “fight or flight” system that will help us survive certain situations in your life. Most of the time, these situations are negative. The articles states that your body undergoes the following changes:
Faster heart beats.
Dilation of pupils.
Release of adrenaline and cortisone.
While the stress hormones can help us survive, our body is not equipped to handle the changes that happen when we are in that condition. It is the same concept as a rubber band that is constantly stretched. If you keep in putting it under that strain, it is bound to snap.
One of the modern problems that keep us feeling stressed is our financial condition. Even those who believe that money is not everything would have to admit that our consumerist society puts it on a pedestal. The bottom line is, you have to have enough money to support the lifestyle that you have – otherwise, you will be quite miserable.
The WebMD article cited the following survey results to help connect debt to stress and other health conditions.
73% of respondents in a 2007 American Psychological Association survey states that money is a significant source of stress in their lives.
Three out of four American families have debt, based on the Survey of Consumer Finances made by the Federal Reserve.
2008 debt stress is 14% higher compared to 2004 – based on the AP-AOL study.
The same AP-AOL study showed that people with high levels of stress have health ailments like ulcers, back pain, depression, anxiety, heart attacks and migraines.
Wikipedia, on their Debt page, also states that when someone has a lot of debt, they suffer from the following:
poor health in both physical and mental states
lack of focus at work
There are other effects of debt and all of these send signals to our body that we are in danger. That releases the stress hormones that puts so much strain in our physical, mental and emotional conditions.
How to remove the negative effects of debt
If you want to keep yourself healthy and away from the bad health effects of debt stress, you must do something about your financial difficulties. Obviously, that means getting out of debt and staying out of it. Fortunately for you, there are a couple of things that you can do to protect yourself from it.
Change your perspective about money and debt
While money is important, you have to keep in mind that it is not everything. You have to know that it should not be the deciding factor in what will make you happy. If you are lacking in the income department, that does not mean you should be miserable. You simply have to turn your eyes towards the entertainment activities that does not cost a thing. Also, you may want to count what you have that money cannot buy. Learn how to prioritize your relationships, health and other important aspects of your life.
Make smart debt decisions
While credit has its uses, you should know that it can also give us a false sense of wealth and freedom. Make sure that you know what you are getting into before you put yourself in debt. Try not to tie up your future income even before you have earned it. If something happens to that income, you could find yourself in big trouble.
It is important to build up your self-control and keep yourself from buying unnecessary things on credit. Actually, even if you have the cash, you need to consider if you will go ahead with the purchase or if you will just put it in your savings. Buying junk will waste your hard earned money and should instead be invested or saved for the rainy day.
Choose a debt relief option
Getting out of debt can be helped in you choose the right debt relief option. There is really nothing that you can do about it but to find the best method to pay off your debt. You have debt consolidation loan, credit counseling/debt management, debt settlement and bankruptcy. Other options also include the snowball/avalanche method and balance transfer. Make a choice based on your financial capabilities and the type of debt that you have. You should also consider any financial goals that you have.
When you have chosen your debt relief option, let go of the stress. Just trust your choice and focus on getting out of debt. No use of putting yourself through the feeling of stress over something that you no longer control. As long as the solution is in motion, you can put your emotions as ease.
To know more about how you can get out of debt, watch the video below.