When a person talks about debt, you can see stress all over their face. The type of stress that an individual experiences when thinking about having an enormous debt, or when an individual is trying to figure out how to pay an enormous debt, can be overwhelming. Debt related stress completely, and totally, destroys an individual’s mental health and with time can damage their physical health.
What Is It That Makes Debt Related Stress so Damaging?
A person might think that stress is stress. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, the effects that stress has on the body is the same. However, this is not really the case. Usually, when humans experience stress it is because they are in a situation that is temporarily dangerous. The body produces the chemicals that make us feel stressed in order to keep us alert and to help us take quick action in order to survive a dangerous situation. A good example of this is a car accident. When an individual is in an automobile accident, their entire body tenses up, their adrenaline is flowing, and their body is under stress. But they are more aware of their surroundings, and this awareness makes it easier for them to walk away from the accident with minor injuries. Once the accident is over, once the situation is calmed down, stress levels return to normal.
It is not this way with debt related stress. According to a Stanford University psychologist, debt related stress is exceptionally dangerous and damaging because of how chronic it is. A person might find themselves so far in debt, that it is not reasonable for them to get themselves out quickly. So stress that is related to debt is something that is with them for years or even decades. When people have extreme amounts of debt, they feel stressed because they know that they owe money, and at the same time they feel stressed because they know that there is very little that they can do about it.
Ways to Eliminate Debt Related Stress
Relieving debt related stress is essential if an individual wants to maintain good mental and physical health. One of the best ways for an individual to relieve the stress associated with debt is to put the debt and money in its proper place. This will help reduce stress in two ways.
The first way is that if an individual puts their debt and puts earning money in the proper place, they will not associate their self-worth with the amount of money that they have, and they will not feel worthless if they do not have the amount of money that they think they should have. Often times, a trap that people fall into is thinking that all of the opportunities that they have in life, and all of their self-worth, is directly related to the amount of money that they have. If a person with that type of mentality falls into debt, their stress level is going to be higher than an individual who does not have this mentality simply because their self-worth is not connected to whether they have money or not.
Secondly, an individual who puts money and material things in their proper place will find it easier to get out of debt. They will be less likely to purchase expensive items that they don’t need. They will not feel that they need to have the newest phone, the biggest television, or the nicest car in order to be important. They will be happy living with less, and this will allow them to pay off their debt quicker.
Higher Credit Card Limits Do Not Equal Freedom
For many individuals, being able to use a credit card is as addictive as using a drug. They see their credit card as giving them a sense of freedom. If the credit card is maxed out, they feel like they are locked in and they have no buying power. However, if their credit card limit is raised, they once again feel free to spend in the same manner that got them into debt.
Individuals in this situation need to realize that a higher credit card limit does not mean that you have more money. In fact, a higher credit card limit means that you are actually in a position to make your situation worse and to increase your debt. Higher credit card limits are just a short-term illusion. They give individuals a false sense of security.
Individuals who find that their credit cards are maxed out should make it their goal to get more credit on their card by paying off the debt that they have. Only by taking positive action can an individual start to reduce the amount of credit card debt they have. When a person starts to see their credit card debt disappear little by little, they will start to feel more secure. They will start to feel more empowered. They will start to feel the stress connected to credit cards disappear.