It’s no secret that being in debt can be extremely stressful. Making ends meet can be a struggle, and if you’re falling behind on your payments, the pressure can be even greater. But what you may not realize is that debt can also have a serious impact on your mental health.
Debt and Anxiety
Debt and anxiety go hand-in-hand. A study by the American Psychiatric Association found that 72% of people with credit card debt report feeling anxious about their financial situation. And it’s not just credit card debt that can cause anxiety; medical debt and personal loan debt can also lead to feelings of stress and worry.
That anxiety can lead to sleep problems, as well as feelings of sadness and despair. If you’re in disbelief that debt could make you feel so down, consider this: a study by the Journal of Health Psychology found that people with medical debt are more likely to experience depression than those without medical debt. And it’s not just your mental health that suffers when you’re in debt; your physical health can also take a hit.
Studies have shown that people with debts are more likely to experience headaches, stomach problems, and high blood pressure.
So, if you’re in debt, it’s important to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
Consider seeking out professional help if you’re struggling to cope with your debt. There are also a number of helpful online resources that can provide support and guidance.
Here are four tips for overcoming debt-related anxiety and regaining control of your finances.
1. Understand Your Debt
The first step to overcoming debt-related anxiety is understanding your debt. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t take the time to sit down and really understand what they owe and why. Knowing the ins and outs of your debt will help you develop a plan to pay it off, and will give you a better sense of what you’re up against. So, pull out your statements and take a close look at the numbers. Once you have a clear understanding of your situation, you’ll be in a better position to develop a plan to pay off your debt—and that can be a major source of relief.
2. Create a Budget
If you’re struggling with debt, chances are your spending habits could use some improvement. Creating a budget is a helpful way to get a handle on your spending and make sure you’re allocating your money in the way that best suits your needs.
When creating a budget, be sure to account for all of your necessary expenses, including housing, food, transportation, and any other bills you may have. Then, once you’ve accounted for those basics, you can start planning how to allocate the rest of your money towards paying off your debts.
And if there’s anything left over after that, You can treat yourself to something nice! Creating and sticking to a budget can help lessen the stress of dealing with debt by giving you more control over your finances.
3. Talk to Your Lenders
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your debts, it may be helpful to reach out to your lenders directly and explain your situation. Many lenders are willing to work with borrowers who are having difficulty making their payments and may be able to offer alternatives that can help ease the burden. For example, some lenders may be willing to lower your interest rate or extend your repayment period. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, talking to your lenders could be a lifesaver—literally! Debt-related stress has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, so taking steps to reduce that stress could have serious health benefits as well as financial ones.
4. Seek Professional Help if Necessary
If you’ve tried all of the above tips and are still struggling to overcome anxiety related to your debt, it may be time to seek professional help from a qualified therapist or counselor. These professionals can help you identify the root cause of your anxiety and provide tools and resources for managing it effectively. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help; millions of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, and there’s no shame in getting the help you need to manage yours effectively.
The bottom line is this: if you’re in debt, it’s important to do whatever you can to get out from under that burden. Not only will it help your finances, but it will also help your mental and physical health. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, reach out to a financial advisor or credit counseling service; they can help you create a plan to get out of debt and get back on track financially.
And remember, you’re not alone; millions of Americans are dealing with the same thing. So take a deep breath and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.