Coping with the worry of debt
Being in debt is probably one of the most stressful experiences anyone will face. Some people can’t cope with being in any form of debt whatsoever. We all know someone like this who when they owe $10 to a friend or family member, well it literally occupies their mind from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. It can be tempting to think that these people take things a little too seriously and perhaps they need to chill out a bit but I can tell you one thing, it’s highly unlikely that this type of person will ever find themselves in debt up to their eyeballs, so maybe we could all learn a thing or two about developing a hatred or emotionally negative reaction toward any form of debt.
What though if you’re already in debt? If you’ve found yourself in this position and you suddenly turn into one of those people who thinks about it from the minute you wake up to the minute you sleep then it’s probable that your debt problem is going to completely ruin your life, destroying any enjoyment you get from even the smallest of things. So how is it possible to live with and resolve a debt problem without allowing it to ruin your life?
If you have found yourself in a lot of debt then it is vital that you develop a realistic attitude and plan about how you are going to deal with it. If it has taken you years to build up this mountain of debt, then it is probably going to take you years to get out of it too. Do you want to be feeling sick with stress and anguish for the next few years because all you think about is the mass of debt you are in? No. On the flipside do you want to have such a relaxed attitude toward your debt that it just sits there and never reduces or even worse the debt grows? No.
I’m a firm believer that everything in life requires a balanced attitude. It’s true that it is more than possible to achieve things in life by having a lack of balance but it often leads to one of two negative outcomes. Firstly, you miss the joy of living as you focus completely on one area of life and don’t give the needed attention to others. Second, you burnout as your unbalanced attitude leads you to give up when you don’t make the unrealistic progress that you have been expecting. Either one of these outcomes could massively impact your ability to achieve your debt free goal.
So we have to maintain a balanced attitude, one where we decide to take the debt seriously enough where we are able to fix the problem over time, but also one where our debt doesn’t become the sole thing we think about each and every day, causing us to forget the many joys we have all around us.
Think about what you have, not what you don’t have.
Yes, being in debt is not a pleasant situation but at the same time, always try to keep a balanced view of how bad your situation really is. At least you have a roof over your head and food on the table, perhaps not as much food as you would like some days, but at least you have some. At least you have your life and the love and support of those around you. Not everybody has that, so try not to take it for granted.
What’s the worst that can happen?
I’m going to be very careful about what I say here because I don’t want it to seem like an invitation to ignore your debt problem. The best way to deal with a debt problem is to actively make continuous, planned and balanced efforts to repay the debt. This way you can hold on to your credit score, your possessions and your financial reputation. On the other hand if you don’t want your debt to engulf your very being, then you need to again be balanced and realistic about the worst case scenario.
In the worst case scenario, if you fail in your battle with debt then this won’t be the end of your life. Yes the repercussions are not pleasant but you will still have the many good things we mentioned earlier. You will still have your life, your loved ones – If any of these leave you because you have made a few financial mistakes, then I’d ask myself whether they deserve to be in your life anyway – and you will still have a roof over your head and food to eat. (This is certainly the case in the UK anyway) You will also, after a period of time, have the ability to start your financial life over with a clean slate and if you learn your lesson then you won’t make the same mistakes again.
So be balanced in the amount of mental and emotional focus you give to your debt. Take it seriously enough so that you are able to make inroads and repay it, but don’t let it engulf you to the point where you forget or don’t give enough attention to the good things and the loved ones you have around you.