“Debt means enslavement to the past, no matter how much you want to plan well for the future and live according to your own standards today. Unless you’re free from the bondage of paying for your past, you can’t responsibly live in the present and plan for the future.”
― Tsh Oxenreider, Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living
We all know that debt can damage our financial health. But how many of us know that debt can also harm our mental and physical health to a drastic level?
For years, studies have revealed that people who carry debt also faced higher rates of mental health issues like anxiety and depression, compared to normal debt-free people.
You may get several monetary benefits if you deal with your financial problems. Those benefits may include big savings and relief from high-interest debts. This will improve your finances as well as improve your mood. The less you worry about financial issues, the more you can enjoy life without being depressed or anxious.
Let’s check out the issues financial anxiety may cause you.
Side effects of financial anxiety and depression
As per Mayo Clinic, financial anxiety and depression can cause serious problems like:
- Insomnia or too much sleep
- Headaches, weight gain, digestive problems
- Lack of concentration
- Nervousness and panic disorders
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Performance issues at work
- Spoiled family life
Debt itself may cause serious health issues. Generation Z, having a large debt burden, also suffers from high rates of high blood pressure and heart diseases like stroke and cardiac arrest.
So, let’s discuss some ways to fight financial anxiety and depression, and rebuild your finances.
1. Identify the reasons behind your stressful situation
Whether it’s related to savings or credit card debts, it’s important to identify what’s causing your anxiety. List the biggest financial sources of stress and remember them.
You’ll understand that you are depressed due to the debt you acquired in the past, and anxious about how you are going to manage your payments in the future.
But if you want to stop the financial anxiety and depression, and other related health consequences, you have to closely examine all of your debts.
Checking the details of your debts and analyzing the terms, interest rates, will be a good start.
2. Choose a suitable debt- elimination method
Once you know how much you owe and to whom, it’s time to choose the best suitable repayment method:
- Snowball Method:You have to make the minimum payments on all your debts. If you have any money left, then engage it to pay the smallest debt balance. Practically, this way you can get success sooner.
- Avalanche method: You have to prepare a list of your debts according to their interest rates, starting from highest to lowest. Then make the minimum payments on all of your debts and engage the surplus money to pay off the highest interest debt.
You may opt for the balance transfer method to consolidate high-interest credit card balances. But make sure you pay the total balance before the introductory term ends.
3. Create a good emergency fund
People become anxious about the situations that are yet to come. You can not create a perfect plan to stop anxiety. However, it is possible to create a provision to back up your finances. Many personal finance experts may suggest you to create an emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses. This way you can get relief from the stress and anxiety that might hit you as a sudden financial crisis.
4. Find time for yourself
You can easily tackle your financial anxiety if you want to. You need to take care of the different things in your life such as finances, relationships, personal hygiene, etc. Trust me, you can easily manage your finances and maintain your stress levels all by yourself. You just need to adapt few activities such as meditation, exercise, listening to melodies, etc.
The more you can keep your mind calm, the more effectively you can fight anxiety and depression.
5. Get rid of financial shame
Past financial mismanagement can lead you to face financial shame. This may create a constant feeling of anxiety. When you feel that shame about money, remember money experts also became experts by performing mistakes. It’s just a matter of time and experience which will also make you a money management expert.
If you are having any confusion about this situation, talk to an expert for further guidance on how to manage your finances like a pro.
6. Meet an advisor
Make an appointment with a financial advisor. Talk to him clearly about your financial anxiety and depression. An advisor can suggest the best ways to conquer your fears about finances.
It is quite normal to become financially anxious or depressed. But with proper guidance and self-motivation you can overcome this issue once and for all.