Being in debt puts a strain on your wallet and finances but 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 make them sick.
Even before the events of 2020, many individuals and business owners were facing difficult decisions and financial pressures. The last few years seem to have exacerbated this. Many individuals are quickly spending emergency funds and savings and accruing debt in an effort to stay afloat. It is to be expected that many people will suffer financial stress and struggles due to 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 well-being and what you can do to 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 manage their mental health successfully.
- 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. Research shows that up to 48% of Canadians report losing 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 affects 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 as a problem and develop a plan to get back on track. Begin taking care of your physical and mental well-being 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 their 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 GetMeDebtFree Help You?
Over the years, we have helped thousands of clients develop a strategy to overcome their debts. Now we have taken that knowledge and experience and put together a referral system so that Canadians looking to deal with debt can be sent directly to companies who we trust. Companies that we believe are amongst the most ethical companies in Canada when it comes to helping people get out of debt. This saves the consumer from ending up in an office full of sharks looking to make a buck off them. We only refer to companies who have passed our GoldStandardTest. We also accept feedback on these companies from the consumer, so if there was a hiccup in the process, we look to and find out why so as to make sure we maintain the highest standard of who we will refer to.
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 today.