Emily Starbuck Crone • 12/19/14
Managing your finances can be terribly stressful for anyone, but it is especially challenging if you are dealing with credit card debt or a poor credit score.
Stressing over credit can also affect more than just you.
According to a recent study of thousands of couples by Kansas State University, fights about money are the largest contributors to divorce and it takes couples longer to recover after fights about money than any other topic.
Use these strategies to more effectively cope with your bad credit stress.
1. See a credit counselor
If you are feeling overwhelmed, meeting with a certified credit counselor can help you regain a sense of control. Credit counselors work with your creditors to make your payments more manageable for you.
They also help you create a debt repayment plan that realistically works for your budget. Visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website to learn more and find a credit counselor.
2. Talk with someone
You're not the only person in the world with debt-related stress. Reach out to your network of friends, co-workers and family — chances are you'll find at least one person who shares your pain.
Just knowing that you're not alone can do wonders for your mental health. You can even work together with your kindred spirit in debt to develop a plan to turn your finances around.
3. Find a therapist
Do you feel unbearably stressed by your credit woes, or do your financial troubles go deeper than just credit card bills? Consider scheduling a visit with a licensed professional counselor, also known as a therapist.
Having a professional, nonjudgmental person to listen, offer support and identify root causes and destructive patterns can provide immense
4. Change your attitude
It is time to flip that attitude around and take control. Maybe this means buying some finance books and educating yourself on how to get your finances in shape.
Perhaps it is finding a support group of other individuals in a similar situation who can help you feel like you are not alone. Or maybe it means finally sitting down and creating a realistic budget and plan.
You will feel less stressed by becoming proactive and empowered.
5. Take time to meditate
Meditation is not only free, but according to the Mayo Clinic, it is a powerful stress reliever and “spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace.”
Find a quiet place in your house and try to sit for at least 15 minutes a day (bonus points if you can do this twice a day). Get in a comfortable position and simply bring your attention to your breath.
Focus on quieting your mind, but do not judge yourself if you have trouble with stray thoughts. It even happens to experienced meditators and gets easier the more you try it.
6. Move your body
Research reveals exercise is shockingly effective at relieving stress. In some studies, it is proven to be as effective as antidepressant medication.
No money for a gym membership? That is no excuse. Buy some cheap fitness DVDs on Amazon or eBay and exercise in your living room — or better yet, find free ones on YouTube.
YouTube videos of workouts are abound and countless blogs and websites offer free workout videos and instructions. Your body and mind will thank you, and you will be able to tackle your finances with a better attitude.