How would you feel physically if you never stressed out over finances? I know I would have fewer migraines and less muscle tension. I am not a doctor, but I know how worrying about our bills and income has impacted my health.
In March I wrote a post about my security gland going berserk over our mortgage dilemma. A sweet friend of mine read about my physical reaction and immediately texted me to ask if I was okay. I am so grateful to have a friend that cares that much about me. It turns out she has a parent that ended up in the hospital because of financial stress in a marriage. Her concerns about me were valid, because she has witnessed first hand the pain of financial difficulties.
While debt may only be numbers on a paper or phone calls from a collector the effects of debt can cause you physical pain and stress.
The Bible says that the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). When I picture someone enslaved I imagine someone in chains. I bet that person in chains doesn’t feel too great. The chains are chafing his wrists or maybe he has some back pain from being hunched over. The weight of the metal chains is causing him to have fatigue and muscle aches. Debt borrowers are in pain from the chains of lenders.
The Symptoms of Debt
A few years ago we were going through a difficult financial season and I was getting a lot of migraines. I couldn’t even relax and have a good time at a wedding we attended. I had to leave the wedding early to deal with one of those financial migraines.
I also tend to get canker sores, muscle tension, and an eye twitch when I stress out. We know that Daniel is stressing out when he gets hives.
An APA study about stress in America reported money as the number one cause of stress in America. The study lists these physical symptoms of stress: irritability or anger; fatigue; lack of interest, motivation or energy; feeling nervous or anxious; headache; feeling depressed or sad; feeling as though you could cry; upset stomach or indigestion; muscular tension; change in appetite; teeth grinding; tightness in my chest; feeling faint or dizzy; and other gender related symptoms.
Perhaps you have experienced a few of these symptoms. I know I have.
5 Ways to Deal With Financial Stress
It doesn’t matter if a prayer is as simple as “God please help me.” God hears every prayer and knows your heart. He loves every human on earth more than the birds. He wants to take care of us and help us.
2. Make a plan to get out of debt
Reading the Total Money Makeover or going through Financial Peace University can bring a lot of hope and peace when you know how to create a budget and plan for the future.
3. Talk to a friend or counselor
Financial stress can be really embarrassing, but telling someone can release the shame and burden. Ask that friend to pray for you. Also, seeing a friend will force you to get out of your head and engage with someone if you are feeling depressed.
4. De-clutter and simplify your life
An overstuffed calendar of commitments can keep you from focusing on dealing with financial matters. Fewer commitments can also save you money on food, sports registrations, and gas. Getting rid of stuff will free you of the burden of cleaning and maintenance. De-cluttering your house can relieve a lot of stress and you can earn money buy selling the items.
5. Relax when you relax
Once you have a budget and a plan in place, then don’t stress over what you can’t control. When you sit down to read a book or watch a movie savor the time. When I had to wait during the mortgage saga I simply had to chose to not think about the whole ordeal and go on with life as normal. Sometimes we need to be patient and relax. Getting out of debt can be a marathon, not a sprint.
The most important tool to alleviating the stress of money is to create a budget and get a plan to get out of debt. The plan may include taking on extra jobs, but you will have peace because you know where are headed – debt freedom!
Have you ever experienced pain from stressing about debt? Do you feel better after creating a plan of action to pay off debt?Photo Credit: SpejoBlancoNegro via Compfight cc