The physical and mental tolls of stress related to debt is a pervasive and chronic setback that is unique to our modern lives. Most of deep stressors related to life changes are momentary and have stages of the process where stress levels vary. However for most people, the idea of “debt” will always be present at some juncture. Since we can’t necessarily get rid of debt as a part of our life and economy, we can rewire the way we operate with it and how it mentally stresses us. If we can reshape our thoughts regarding debt, we can take ourselves out of the “emergency response” reaction and move forward with a clearer mind and more productive thoughts and actions. Here are 4 points to consider when handling debt issues.
1. Avoiding retail therapy
Many studies have shown that higher priced items are more likely to be purchased when our ego is damaged or self-worth is waning. This can be brought on by world happenings, bad news, or personal matters that trigger an ego response. By overcoming this trap and learning a different way to cope, you can reduce the overall debt and break unhealthy habits that lead to higher stress. Experts recommend when this feeling arises to do healthy adventures, spend time with loved ones, get into a hobby like working out or home-cooking, or going into nature. These budget friendly ideas can give you an outlet without hurting your bottom line.
2. Flex your will power muscle
You’ve probably heard “Will power is a muscle” but have you considered the actual meaning of it? Psychology studies discovered that we reserve a certain amount of mental energy for exerting self-control, and the more you practice it the more energy your brain can spare for it. This means when it comes to self-control around your budget and spending money, the more success you have- the more you will have! Activities such as logging your purchases and balancing your budget on a regular basis can keep your goals at the forefront of your mind and help you develop that will power muscle, making budgeting less anxiety-riddled.
3. Understand credit
Many people use credit as a tool and feel relieved with the opening or expanding of credit limits, giving a false sense of security for more spending. This idea is damaging to the long-term and is an impractical view of what credit is. Your credit score and credit limit are simply nods to how good you are at spending money you don’t have. By reducing your percentage of used consumer credit, you can take the burden of debts off of future you and get a realistic feel for living within your means.
4. Put money in its place
When self-worth and ego are tied into money, it can make navigating money troubles even trickier. Brands, images, social media and so much more can be so heavily infiltrated by money and status that many can become trapped into debt for their image. Larger vanity purchases can become “Is this worth sacrificing my financial freedom” and you may be surprised by the answer. Placing your value on yourself, your talents, your relationships and your character is a far better bet that won’t cost you quite so much. These small changes can change your brain and how you process your struggles.