According to a survey from the American Psychological Association, 72 percent of Americans were stressed about the same thing last month: money. In addition, 90 percent haven’t seen a decrease in their stress levels despite improvements in the economy.
Unfortunately, this type of stress can’t be compartmentalized and contained in money-related tasks and discussions. It eventually spills over into other areas, impacting health and relationships, as well as focus and productivity.
So before you toss another credit card bill aside and hope that the anxiety will subside on its own, take a minute to consider how this debt might be impacting your overall wellbeing and mental health. Recognizing the connection is the first step towards making improvements that might change your entire outlook on life.
Debt and Mental Health (Explore Emotional Effects of Debt)
Credit Card Debt Can Make You Feel Out of Control
When you’re dealing with interest rates that are 15-30 percent and you’re only able to pay the minimum each month, it can quickly feel like the money applied to the balance is being swallowed whole by additional charges. It’s like using a tiny ice pick to chip away at a massive glacier.
Even though you are taking charge of the problem, it is easy to feel like you aren’t entirely in control of the outcome. This loss of control and feeling of overwhelm can expand in your mind, impacting how you handle a variety of situations and people in your life.
Credit Card Debt Can Impact Your Confidence Level
Whether you’re regretting decisions that brought you to this point or simply wondering how you can ever find your way out again, credit card debt can make you feel as if you aren’t equipped to handle money-related tasks as well as you should.
It’s a glaring reminder that something, somewhere went wrong and even if the circumstances were out of your control, self-blame is usually in high supply. Add to this the fact that the majority of Americans aren’t equipped with basic money management skills, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of low confidence moving forward.
Credit Card Debt Can Evoke Feelings of Loneliness
Money isn’t something most of us readily talk about in our personal relationships, so money woes of any kind – especially credit card debt – can feel particularly isolating. After all, if you’re carrying a heavy burden and you don’t feel comfortable talking about it with those who would normally lend necessary support, you must shoulder the worry and stress all on your own.
That is taxing to even the most independent and introverted of people.
Credit Card Debt Can Impact the Way You See the Future
Credit card debt is like a heavy fog that prevents you from seeing more than two feet ahead. It’s virtually impossible to think about the future when you have no idea how you will be able to get the fog of credit card debt to part.
Making financial decisions to improve your business or home life can be greatly impacted by this type of debt obligation, making it tough to see the positive light of possibilities off in the distance.
So What Can You Do to Lessen these Impacts?
Money stress related to credit card debt doesn’t have to be a life sentence. In fact, there are steps you can take today in order to lessen the impact and immediately improve your quality of life.
Start Talking About It
Embarrassment and shame might have made you shy away from having money discussions in the past, but the truth is, the average American household has an average credit card debt load of $7,200 – so you certainly aren’t alone in this struggle.
Now is the time to start a frank conversation about what you are dealing with – both to gather necessary support and to hear how others might have handled their own money woes.
Seek Professional Help
Nonprofit credit counseling services, like that offered through DebtWave, gives you access to people who can arm you with the most powerful thing of all: a plan.
Tapping into these professional resources means you can embark on your journey toward debt-freedom with someone who has navigated this path before. They know the mile markers, the dead ends and plenty of other tips to move you forward.
Goals are a motivation for the soul. Not only will they get you moving, but they will help you get excited about all your future might hold.
Credit card debt can have a heavy impact on your mental health, but the good news is, you are fully in control of reversing those effects. How do you plan to start?