by Mike Aux-Tinee.
There you stand, looking over the edge at the abyss. What has brought you here is so much debt – your own personal financial cliff. As you gaze into the bottomless, dark hole, you think to yourself, ‘Could I have avoided this?’, ‘What should I do?’ and ‘Is this the end?’.
You begin to sweat, your heart races and you can feel that sick prickly feeling just race through every nerve of your body. You wish things could have been different and maybe you are quietly praying, a last desperate attempt to prevent the inevitable.
This scenario has been playing on an endless loop lately. Millions of people have taken on too much debt trying to live the ideal of the American Dream. It’s no use trying to point the finger and blame anyone but yourself. That’s not going to make the situation any better or make it go away in the short-term.
The one thing that can change in the short-term is how to cope with the stress over the debt you have. While it may take several years to pay off what you owe, you do not need to allow the stress from it all to negatively affect your life anymore.
I know where you are. See, I was over my head in debt and lost my job. It was (and still is) one of the worst feelings that I have experienced. I expected to wake up from the nightmare to find myself clutching a pillow for security. Well, I did not wake up like that and the nightmare stayed with me for some time.
I had to do something about the stress. I had to take some control back and find a way to cope with it before it started to cause serious damage to my life and erode my health. What I am going to share with you are the ways I dealt with the stress of being in debt.
1. Come up with a debt reduction plan.
The one thing you need to do to bring about the end of this nightmare is to recognize that your life is unsustainable. You can no longer go on recklessly spending money. It’s time to come to grips with the idea that you must learn to live below your means. Otherwise this is going to be how your life will be forever… and I really mean forever!
Coming up with a debt reduction plan allows you to have something positive to look forward to – the day you will be completely debt free. This is creating the notion that there is a way out, albeit some time down the road.
To help you with your debt reduction plan, I wrote a book, Islands of Happiness.
Stress unchecked, puts a lot of pressure on the body. And at some point the pressure will become too much and something will pop. Stress can contribute to some very serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart attacks and ulcers.
By getting out and exercising you are doing two things. One, helping your body burn off the pent-up stress and pressure. And two, building up resistance to stress. When you decide you want to begin exercising, consult your doctor.
3. Eat better food.
I know you already know this, but the body needs fuel and we get that fuel from eating food. What’s important is what kind of fuel you give your body. To give the body the nutrients needed for daily operation, fight off diseases and illnesses, you must give it the good stuff: fruit and vegetables and keep the bad stuff out: fast food, soda, candy…etc.
Another benefit to eating better, your body will not put as much of it into storage (a.k.a fat). If done right, you can improve your health and how you feel.
4. Find a quiet place.
This is pretty important for a number of reasons. You need to have a place where the distractions of life cannot enter in and bombard you all at once. It gives you the space and time you need to sort through any problems, and come up with better solutions.
Having a quiet place also gives you the opportunity to pursue personal interests like reading, painting or just sitting and watching mother nature at work. (no surprise…it should be some place outside and away from your home!).
As you incorporate these activities into your life, you will discover once your debt has been paid off, that you are a much healthier and happier person. Your life, as it is right now, is doing more harm than good. No matter how many things you can point to as signs of success. The price you have to pay to obtain those things is too high…
If you have other ways to cope with stress, please pass them along for the good of everyone else!