Being in debt puts a strain on your wallet and your finances but it can also be detrimental to your overall health and well-being. If you have been in debt at some point in your life, it is easy to see how debt can be connected to your mental health but there is also evidence that it may be causing harm to your physical health as well. Oftentimes, consumers find it surprising to hear that their debt can, in fact, be detrimental to their physical well-being and making them sick.
We are living in difficult and uncertain times with the impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus still unknown; many individuals and business owners are facing difficult decisions and financial pressures in the weeks and months to come. Many individuals are quickly spending emergency funds, savings, and accruing debt in an effort to stay afloat during this pandemic. It is to be expected that many people will suffer financial stress and struggles as a result of the job losses and business closures stemming from this unprecedented worldwide event. It is more important than ever to understand the impact debt has on your overall wellbeing and what you can to do minimize those impacts.
Effects of Debt Beyond Your Finances
Researchers throughout Canada and the world have studied the effects that considerable debt and financial obligations can have on an individual’s physical and mental well-being. The results of their studies are alarming and show the effect and burden debt can cause in every aspect of an individual’s life beyond just their bank accounts.
Debt’s Effects on Your Mental Wellbeing
It does not take a scientist to tell you that debt has an effect on your mood and mental health. Even the most positive individuals will feel moments of uncertainty, frustration, and difficulty when burdened with considerable debt. Debt can trigger and worsen a number of mental health issues and disorders. Managing a mental health condition can be difficult on its own. Combined with debt and financial struggles individuals face a number of obstacles in trying to successfully manage their mental health.
- Panic Attacks
- Substance Abuse
- Feelings of Isolation
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Psychotic Disorders
Effects on Your Relationships & Your Work
Individuals in debt will oftentimes experience troubles within their personal relationships and even their work performance. When you are struggling with debt your moods might be affected adversely and this will naturally begin to seep into other aspects of your life at home, with friends, and with colleagues. This can lead to tension, arguments, and confrontations that would otherwise not occur. Debt can become an overwhelming concern and burden that remains in the back of your mind even in times when it should not. Taking control of your debt can help you balance your finances, relationships, and mental health in a more positive and effective manner.
Debt’s Effects on Your Physical Health
Most of the debt’s effects on your physical health will not show up as a sudden illness but rather a gradual development of symptoms that will lead to serious health consequences down the line, if not addressed. It has been researched that up to 48% of Canadians report having lost sleep due to financial struggles. Lack of sleep is a contributing factor to a number of physical ailments in addition to affecting your moods and mental health.
Debt causes stress and stress on your body affect not only your mind but also your immune system. A weakened immune system leads to lower defenses and a higher susceptibility to contagious diseases and illnesses. Individuals in debt report being in poor health twice as much as those that do not identify as being under financial stress.
- High Blood Pressure
- Chronic Pain
- Heart Conditions
- Digestive Issues
- Weakened Immune System
How to Cope with Debt & Maintain Your Health
As stated by Kelly McGonigal a psychologist from Stanford University; “What’s dangerous about debt is how pervasive and chronic it is. Most things in life that stress us out; a car accident, a divorce, a death in the family; happen, and then they’re over. Our bodies are designed to respond to these ’emergencies’ and bounce back, whereas owing money can become completely inescapable.”
The first step to coping with your debt is to accept it is a problem and develop a plan to get back on track. Begin taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing to focus on how to achieve the ultimate goal of financial independence and freedom.
Incorporate healthy habits into your day-to-day life such as a hobby or interest, exercise, and good dietary choices. Set your mind and body up to perform at its best and face the obstacles ahead with a clear mind and positive approach. Debt can be tackled successfully no matter your circumstances. Although you may feel hopeless due to your current circumstances and situation, there is something that can be done about it.
How Can 4 Pillars Help You?
At 4 Pillars our team has helped thousands of customers through the years develop a strategy to overcome their debts. We understand that finances can be difficult and at 4 Pillars we consider you our client, not a debtor. Mismanaged debt can gradually snowball into an overwhelming situation, and we can help you structure a plan to a debt-free life in a relatively short time frame. Our clients complete their debt relief plan in 5 years or less, with many clients achieving that goal within 36 months. To top it off our client’s success rate of 97% is one of the highest, if not the highest success rate, in the debt relief industry in Canada.
Debt is something that has happened in your life but it should not take over your life, there is more to life than debt. Contact us to discuss how we can help you begin your journey to a debt-free life. “At 4 Pillars, we don’t help our clients simply weather the storm, we help them rise above it!”