Debt is one of those things that can really drive anxiety, so it’s important to maintain control of your financial wellbeing and find coping strategies. Here are five effective ways to manage debt-related stress, and regain control when times are tough.
Be present, try not to dwell on past or future.
Clearing your debt problems isn’t always a quick fix, so you need to take it one step at a time. Worrying about the future can heighten your levels of stress, and allow anxiety to creep in.
Science actually says that living in the moment will make you happier, so why not try this as an approach? It’s very important to prevent yourself from being consumed by things that may have happened in the past. Accept what’s happened and take positive steps to move forward.
Keep a positive mindset.
Think about all the things that you love about your life, and this will instantly give you perspective.
Being debt free might mean giving up material things that you don’t even need. Take stock, and evaluate what you actually need rather than what you want to have.
Keeping a mentally positive attitude will make everything in your life that bit easier to manage and maintain. Being positive doesn’t mean painting on a fake smile and struggling on. It’s certainly a challenge, but worth it in the long run and will build your mental resilience.
Come face-to-face with your demons.
Sometimes we need to take our head from beneath the sand, especially when money is involved. The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario absolutely does not work in this case.
Of course we never really forget the things we put out of our mind, they hang around like clouds of doom. The feelings of fear and shame make it even harder to handle, and asking for help really can lighten the load. Seeking financial advice is a huge step forward and will help reduce stress.
Stick to a budget.
Creating a reasonable and realistic budget (and sticking to it) will put you firmly back in control of your finances. Knowing what you’ve got to play with every month is really useful and you’ll always know where you stand. This will reduce the risk of spending beyond your means.
Physical exercise releases endorphins which make us feel happier and more content. Even if it seems unrelated, a jog, quick HIIT session or a nice walk could change the way you feel and allow you to think more clearly about your current situation.
The Mental Health Foundation have put together a really useful video with some suggestions for keeping active in times of stress.