People stuck in debt may face high levels of stress and uncertainty over the future. Last week, we discussed how debt affects physical health, contributing to heart disease, stroke and other harmful conditions. Health problems are expensive, and can lead to more debt. It is important to stay healthy and find ways to reduce stress.
- Exercise is very beneficial for beating stress and reclaiming your life. Why does it work? Exercise can release feel-good endorphins in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. These endorphins can improve your mood and reduce anxiety and depression. Exercise can also decrease the effects of cortisol, a hormone responsible for causing high levels of stress. Running, jogging, lifting weights, swimming, yoga and cycling can help ease stress caused by debt.
- Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are useful for avoiding the body’s “fight or flight” response caused by high levels of cortisol. Breathing techniques and meditation can help the body enter a more relaxed state, lowering blood pressure and relaxing the muscles.
- Diet can also be critical for reducing stress. Foods such as nuts, oatmeal, spinach, salmon, and avoiding caffeine can help increase levels of feel-good endorphins and reduce levels of cortisol.
The Importance of Relieving Stress Caused by Debt
Anyone attempting to find ways to alleviate stress should consult with a dietician or physician first. Debts can become an enormous emotional burden, and it is important to find both financial and non-financial solutions to eliminate debt and feel better. In some circumstances, the best option is to stop ignoring the elephant in the room and consider filing for bankruptcy.