Shame. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. All these are emotions that are associated with debt. Being buried in bills and debt is one of the most stressful situations one can be in. According to Debt.org, by the end of 2018, Americans were drowning in debt amounting close to $14 trillion. And, according to the Federal Reserve Board, one in every five borrowers owe more than $50 000 in student loans.
According to a study done at the University of Nottingham by Dr. John Gathergood, there is a direct correlation between poor mental health and people who’re struggling to pay off debt. It is, therefore, critical that if you’re struggling with debt, you find creative ways to cope with the situation to avoid suffering from mental health illnesses.
Here are seven ways on how to ease your mind when you’re drowning in debt:
1. Decide to get out of debt
‘Get out of debt,’ might seem like generic advice. But, some so many people are buried in debt but aren’t doing a single thing to pay off the debt. As a matter of fact, they continue with a lifestyle that only makes their debt situation worse.
So, today, commit to digging yourself out of the mountain of debt. A commitment is more than just a decision. To ensure that you follow through the commitment, get an accountability partner. Share with them your situation and your plan to get out of debt and ask them to help keep you on track.
2. Imagine a debt-free life
Can you imagine how life was when you weren’t in so much debt? Did you feel as much guilt as you do today?
To get yourself motivated to stay committed to getting out of debt, envision yourself out of debt. What places would you visit? How would you feel? Make this vision so crystal clear so that every time you give up a habit that was getting you in debt, the image will remind you of the price of the sacrifice you’re making today.
3. Combat the negative self-talk
One of the most frustrating things, when one is drowning in debt, is the constant negative self-talk. It makes you feel like everyone can see how you’re struggling to pay your bills. The negative self-talk can be so bad that you start to avoid people due to embarrassment. The negativity towards self is the first step towards anxiety, stress, and depression.
Today, start to adopt positive self-talk motivated by the vision of when you’re debt-free. Get visual reminders such as pictures of how you envision your life when you’re no longer struggling to pay your bills, and you’re finally out of debt. Start to motivate yourself with these visions of the future.
4. Identify Aspects You’re proud of and can appreciate
In an attempt to combat the negative self-talk, you can also start to identify aspects of your life that you’re proud of. Start enjoying the little things in your life that are intact and make you happy. A perfect exercise would be to practice having a gratitude journal.
A gratitude journal ensures that every day you identify and write one thing in your life that you’re happy and thankful for. Such an activity starts to rewire the brain to begin identifying the positive things in life. Therefore, as you struggle to pay off your debt, your mind will not be focused only on the debt but also the good things in your life.
5. Make a plan
This is the most essential step because no matter how much you visualize or practice gratitude, your status quo will persist if you don’t do something about it. Therefore, make a concrete plan on how you’re going to get out of debt.
You’ve got to this point of overwhelming debt because of certain negative lifestyle habits. Therefore, to get out of the situation, the best thing would be to seek knowledge on resources such as Crediful that have many options on how to deal with debt.
6. Appreciate small wins
Once you start making headway on debt repayment, it might take years to see any significant changes. This can be very demotivating. Therefore, to keep yourself motivated, start to appreciate the small wins. Congratulate yourself for making a small repayment each month.
7. Make auto payments
Organizing automatic repayment plans is very effective to ensure that you don’t miss out on any payments. It helps to ensure that you stay committed to your plan to get out of debt. It’s important to note that some lenders offer discounts when you activate auto payments.
Your mental health is of paramount importance not only to you but to those around you. You owe it to yourself and your significant others to take care of your mental health and get out of debt.