22% of all individuals under overwhelming stress in the UK point to debt as their chief stressor, according to a 2018 poll by the Mental Health Foundation. Stress from any source can lead to several health complications. However, with financial burdens now being responsible for one in five cases of mental duress, the need to ease them has become stronger than ever.
If you’re one individual who feels as if your financial status is taking your life away from you, here are some guidelines to follow to handle the stress of your financial worries.
Assess the Full Breadth of the Issue
Major causes of stress come from being uncertain about the complete nature of the issue. That which you can fully see, you can formulate how to tackle. Going on the offensive against something is immensely effective in eliminating stress, many psychologists claim. To do this, you must take stock of all of your accounts and payables. If your funds aren’t sufficient to pay off everything, you can prioritize the highest-interest debts first.
If you haven’t been very punctual with payments, taking out a bad credit loan to deal with these high-priority debts can poke substantial holes in your financial troubles. Weighing and measuring the problem and focusing on removing the most intimidating parts is a brilliant step towards dismantling your debt and coming out on top.
If interest isn’t that big of a threat, you can also go the opposite route and eliminate the smaller debts first. This will compound your momentum into what many call a “snowball effect” and urge you towards tackling the rest of your debt. You can also make use of financial techniques such as debt consolidation to ease the monthly burden and give you some breathing room. Whichever angle of attack you choose, what’s important is that you understand the problem and the debt cycle, so you can prepare your funds accordingly.
Bolster Your Financial Support Structure
Another major anti-stress guideline is to make more of an effort to improve your financial support structure. Essentially, this amounts to boosting income, avoiding unnecessary expenses, and ensuring that you always have enough funds for timely debt payments. The basic principle that this step is founded on is budgeting. If your household already has a budget, your priority would be to make it more efficient. Again, an optimal budget is one that prioritizes essential costs first, debts second, savings third, and luxuries at the very last.
You should take the time to organize and take control of all income and expenditure to allot appropriate funds to each area that needs it. The more control you have over your finances, the less overwhelmed you will be.
Once you’ve built and maintained a working budget, another proactive step to take is to strengthen your income. You can do this by establishing a side business, generating passive income, or increasing your earning power by getting a raise or getting higher education. The first two options are relatively easy to do if you have a bit of extra time and have a specific niche that you are good at.
If your financial management turns out to be insufficient despite your best efforts, seeking outside help is a very valid option. This isn’t limited to hiring a financial planner or accountant as well. There are inexpensive short courses on managing personal finances and investments. These classes can teach you to create effective budgets, long-term savings plans, and investment strategies. There are also debt counselors who offer debt restructuring services and debt attorneys who can negotiate with your creditors.
Adopt Stress-Relieving Habits
Using effective financial management strategies is all well and good, but it’s also imperative that you relieve the stress that you are already experiencing. Traditional stress relief measures, such as meditation, working out, and breathing exercises, can work wonders with both your physical and mental state. If that turns out to be insufficient, however, you can supplement it with more modern stress relief techniques, such as Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
This innovative technique involves tensing and relaxing all of your muscles from the top of your head to the soles of the feet. It does require practice, but you can never have enough tools in your anti-stress repertoire.
Multiple studies support that simple joys such as laughing and listening to your favourite music have substantial benefits to your mental health. Hence, getting as much of those as you can is another great way to keep overwhelming stress at bay. The pure elation of a good bout of laughter releases a cocktail of happy hormones that will improve your mood in a hurry.
Music, on the other hand, is one of the most stirring vehicles of emotion known to man. It can carry catharsis in the form of a lyrical mantra or an exhilarating blend of vocals and instruments. These, alongside other hobbies such as a model ship building, video games or what have you, are fantastic weapons to push away any encroaching stress.
Aside from that, there’s also the reaffirming quality in being able to say no to things. Assertiveness lets us reestablish control over our psyche and extends not only to saying no to others, but saying no to ourselves as well. Successfully resisting temptations and holding true to your priorities can give you a massive boost to your mental state. Not to mention it’s beneficial to your budget, too.
Stress is as inevitable as the challenges we come to experience in life, but it doesn’t have to be so intense as to hold you down. Keep a cool head, hold your ground, and establish a plan of action; but don’t forget to build a haven for yourself to rest and recoup. With these three guidelines and enough willpower, you can turn the tables on your stress and look to the future of financial freedom.
Interesting related article: “Guide to managing your money.”