Question of the Month
Question 2: How do you control stress at the time when you are trying to get out of debt?
When we are in debt, we give our best effort to get out of it. But at the time when we're working on it, we get stressed out. What are the different ways through which you control your stress? Share your knowledge.
Winner PostAnswer 1:When I first began the "get-out of debt" process, I was really stressed out. I mean there were these collectors calling me all the time, I could not get approved for ANY type of loan, and my credit report looked so negative that identify thieves would not touch my personal information with a 10-foot pole!
The first thing that I learned throughout this whole process is to treat debt one-step at a time. At first, I wanted to tackle my entire debt! I called every creditor, I tried to work out a settlement with everyone! Well lets face it, Im not a millionaire and cannot settle every debt at once. When that didnt work I ended up getting more stressed out, I ignored more phone calls, changed my phone numbers again, etc. Eventually, I ended up pulling my annual credit report. I tackled one debt at a time. I knew what was on the report, but I was going to start calling these people one at a time. If a particular debtor did not want to settle on my terms, then I discontinued the conversation and found a creditor who would. When debtors called me, I stopped ignoring them. I talked to them and I made them listen to me. If not, then I wouldnt talk to them. I started paying back the debts with the least amount of money owed and it worked out great.
Another way to deal with stress is to remember that you are in control! The debt collectors do not control your debt...you do! Its your money, your bad expenses. When we ignore the phone calls we put them in control. Talk to these people! If they dont want to settle with you then tell them that they can call again when they have an offer for you that is lucrative to your financial means...not theirs! I would talk to debt collectors on the phone, but all forms of settlement would be handled in writing...return receipt requested! When you control your finances (whether its debt or income) there is no stress involved because you have the upper-hand!
A final way to deal with stress is to keep informed as to what is on your credit reports! When I first saw my debt, my mouth opened so wide that my lower jaw almost separated from the upper! When you initially know your debt, yes its a shock and knowing (at first) can cause a lot of stress! But keeping up with getting those debts off your report and checking up on it every year and finding less and less "negative stuff" is a very good feeling. Keep yourself informed as to what is going on with your credit...not being in shock is equal to not as much stress!
Overall, debt is nothing that we need to allow ourselves to overly obsess about. I also look at the forums and post on there because it gives me a feeling that there are other people within cyberspace that are like me. By doing these 4 things caused me to have less stress throughout this whole process...and I bet it would work for anyone else!
Answer Posted by | brian446fsu
The other answers worth mentioning are:
Answer 2:Controlling stress is not an easy task. Many struggle with this task on a daily basis and actually succeed. But the key thing to realize is that what works for one, may not work for another. For those of us who are religious, leaning on our faith helps to relieve the stress. For those of us who are hands on, visiting "smash" stores (stores where you can pay to smash dishes to relieve stress) helps a great deal. And to those of us who are heath nuts, practicing yoga, arobics or some other form of physical labor helps out really well. For me, it is a combination of the three. I am highly religious, so I lean on my faith in God and pray when things get a bit testy. I also incorporate stretching activities and massage pressure points daily to help relieve stress. And, the topper on the cake is heavy cleaning. I start with one area of my home and keey myself busy and my mind free of my problems by rearranging furniture, going through old boxes, washing clothes, cleaning out closets and then exercising. It works really great and I wind up feeling much better; inside as well as out.
Answer Posted by | Synamon Pennington
Answer 3:I do a combination of things to help keep my stress in check. They seem to work well together - & by themselves - they arent as helpful in controlling the stress "beast." Here is what I do:
1) I make sure that I eat breakfast, lunch & dinner - & eat as wholesomely as possible (tuna, grains, lean beef & vegetables. I cut out sugar, salt, candy & useless "white" foods like rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.)
2) I go to the gym (or walk) at least 30-45 minutes a day - in the morning. I tend to stay there closer to an hour & once done in the morning, I cant "skip it" that evening.
3) I walk the dog daily & use it as a time to meet the neighbors walking their pets & chit chat a little. Mention the economy, & everyone is watching their pennies. It helps to hear that someone else is in a financial bind other than just me. Plus today, a woman I met, whos little dog played with mine, told me about a coupon site where she found dog food coupons, food coupons & online surveys. Good info!
4) I try to make sure that I go to bed & rise at the same time every day. Once I start staying up late, then I get less & less sleep. Next thing I know, Im too tired to think & my stress rises even more.
5) I surf the internet for a limited amount of time so that I dont "rest my mind" by surfing & "losing time" that I should be using in better ways. Like sleeping!
Im not always successful, but debt is like weight. It took me more than overnight to gain the weight, itll take me more than overnight to lose it. Ditto with the debt.
Answer Posted by | dee glenn
Answer 4:Personally, I dont think that you ever can really control stress 100%. With the economy the way it is right now, there is a lot of stress all around us and it is very hard to get away from and some people, well, things keep getting worse and worse and it seems like there is no getting away from the stress. I know that feeling because I get to that point, and then it gets a little better and then right back again. I cant say you can control stress, but there are things you can do to help relieve some of it, even if it is temporary. Here are a few things I do:
> I try to keep my sense of humor. I have always heard that laughter is the best medicine, so I try to laugh when I can and I try to make others laugh. I know that I have dealt with people on the phone and they have been having a bad day and it sure is nice to hear that because I made them laugh, it brightened their day and that helps to brighten mine.
> Sometimes I call a friend up or my mom and we talk about things. That gives me a chance to vent about things and it also gives the person I am talking to a chance to vent and then next thing we know we are talking about something that doesnt even have to do with what the original phone call was about. Takes the mind off ones problems, even if it is for a little while.
> Doing something with or for my family. Whether it is playing a game, doing yard work, cleaning house, acting stupid and singing and dancing to old records, or even listening to my daughter talk about all the boys she likes or my son and finding out what all he has been up to. Sometimes just staying busy helps relieve that stress somewhat. I am not one for going to the gym or anything like that, but I can find things to keep me busy.
> Believe it or not, just sitting quitely and petting my dogs helps to relieve some stress. Heck I can even talk to them and they listen and dont talk back. I can cry and they comfort me and ask for nothing in return. Pets are a great stress reliever and that is one thing I can vouch for.
>I talked about crying, heck there isnt nothing wrong with a good cry. If things get that bad, let it out. Sometimes, crying, yelling, screaming, punching pillows or something like that can let off a lot of stress and tension. You will feel better afterwards, trust me I know. I have done this many times myself.
> Speaking of stress and tension reliever...married folk, there is s e x. Shhhh, the younguns dont need to do this but for us old married folk, it sure can relieve some stress and tension and that is all I am going to say about that.
> A biggie is praying and believing that "HE" will look out for you. Sometimes I forget about this myself, but I do know that it does work. I just have to remind myself of this and do it more often.
> Another thing is this wonderful board and all the wonderful people here. It helps knowing that you are not the only one in a certain situation and that someone understands where you are coming from. For me personally, I have not felt as alone as I use to when things have gone bad. The kindness this board shows to those in need is amazing.I dont believe that stress can be controlled, but I do think it can be relieved, at least for a little while and things can be a little less stressful at times.
Answer Posted by | 2nband
Answer 5:well,when i was in pdl hell.i could go out to the garage,and pop on 670 the score.its sports talk radio.i could be so down in the dumps about everything.then i would turn on that station and LOL,LOL.people would come to the garage to find out what was going on.it sounds out there but,once i listened to that station i my troubles went away.i also thought clearer too.i guess it is true about the healing power of laughter.
Answer Posted by | paulmergel
Answer 6:Dealing with debt is very stressful! My first response to stress while dealing with debt is coming here and discussing my problems.. it gives me a place to vent and even help others, either by my experience or by just letting others know that they are not alone. The advice I recieve here always makes paying debt easier to manage. Dealing with debt head on often makes me feel better about the situation, who knew?!? Other ways to deal with stress is exercise (I love walking my dog!) and being around loved ones. I personally find pray as a good stress buster but any form of meditation will work as well. You have to find what gives your inner strenght and keep at it. Remaining calm has helped me handle my debt much more efficiently.
Answer Posted by | bea2ls
Answer 7:I did a search to look out for the stress warning, signs and symptoms (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm). I looked at the list of cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms to see if I maybe displaying any of them and work to find low cost solutions from there.
If my stress makes me smoke or eat more than I should, I would take up a craft that will engage both my hands so that I will not think about finding solace in them. A good one would be papermache where glue is required. As I can use old newspaper, it is low cost. It would also be so troublesome to stop to smoke and eat as I would have to wash the glue off my hands each time.
If the stress is making me moody, I will look through my collection of movies or CDs that I have enjoyed before and know will make me happy watching them again. This will also give me an opportunity to lie down and relax.
If I am not able to control my temper and feeling restless, I would take up a sport, like a game of squash or hitting out at a punching bag. That will allow me to express my frustrations without hurting anyone.
To get myself out of any cognitive symptoms that I am suffering from, I would take up yoga. I can learn it free from religious societies that offer them or learn it off the internet. Here is one I discovered:
If I am feeling depress, I think a library is also a good place to visit. Though it is quiet, there are people around who I can engage with if I feel up to it. That should eliminate that sense of loneliness and isolation that I may be in and prevent me from committing silly acts that will harm myself.
While I am there and if I feel up to it, I can read up books or watch videos related to the debt crisis I am in to see if I can find solutions. From reading, I may find inspiration to write about solutions I discovered and share them on my blog or website like debtconsolidationcare.com. Responses from readers may give me even more ideas to work on.
I would also read about the problems people in debt are facing. Maybe after reading them, I may realise that I am wallowing in self pity because there are others in worst off condition than I am in. Reading how others solved their debt problems will also motivate me to work in that direction and get me out of the stress symptom of procrastination and make me responsible again for my problems.
Answer Posted by | greenbeingnancy
Answer 8:One thing I have found is that stressing never paid off a debt for me. Quite the opposite, when I allow myself to be consumed by stress, I tend to eat more, spend more and generally create more stress. Consequently, when I am trying to overcome debt or anything that seems insurmountable, I take a deep breathe and grab the bull by the horns. I begin by accepting and appreciating where I am and how I got here. Then, I release the tension by engaging in a structured exercise program to create continuity, accomplishment and endorphins (make it fun!). I let today be a starting point for tomorrow one day at a time. In the past while raising my two children without child support, my credit got so bad, I could not open a bank account. My friend opened an account in his name for my personal use. At the same time, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted that seemed impossible and ended it with "Thank you Jesus". That list included my own bank account, a cell phone, my debts paid off, a higher income number, etc. I put the list on my closet door and perused it daily checking each accomplishment off. I couldnt afford the gym so I walked and jogged especially if I was having a bad day. With each step, I envisioned myself rising above my struggle. Shortly after, having noticed me banking through my friends account, the bank opened a personal account in spite of my history. Soon after, I started a job that "coincidentally" provided a cell phone. Later, I found an even better job that paid my higher income number. Unable to get a cell phone account without a large deposit, I discovered a special deal on a pay as you go phone plan where I received numerous minutes up front. The minutes would roll over if I bought minimum minutes every month. As the minutes accumulated over a few months, the cell phone company offered me a permanent account using the accumulated minutes as a deposit (I actually created cash on the deal). More recently in a psychological slump, I did a vision board where I put my face over a yoga positioned silhouette. Among other things, in one hand I put a picture of a large dollar sign. I also did a list which included "financial freedom" and "debt-free". About a month later, I injured my wrist and came into a substantial amount of money. Guess where the point of the dollar sign landed in my vision board. I wish for others easier ways than wounding oneself, but the point is I am in the process of clearing all my debt and will shortly be debt and financially free. Bottom line, rather than focus on the negative aspects of debt and allowing stress to own me, I focus on the possibilities, i.e., my capabilities. I then do the footwork and trust my needs will be met. Sometimes, in this busy world we live in, we just need a reminder. "Seeing is believing".
Answer Posted by | Peg L
Answer 9:Twenty years ago Readers Digest reprinted a study that numbered 1-10 the most stressful events in life. I can only remember the first five. 1. Death of a child. 2. Death of parents. 3. Death of spouse or divorce. 4. Loss of job or starting a new job. 5. Loss of house or moving away from family and friends. Debt was lower on the list..
I learned in school that humans need five things to live: Oxygen, water, shelter, food and clothing. Everything else is a desire that is not needed to live. I certainly did not need a credit card to live, but I wanted one and now I rue the day I did.
It makes no difference who purchased what. The blame game only causes angst and more stress. I own it and I am responsible for it. There are four things that can happen with CC debt when the collectors come calling. Bankruptcy, mitigation to reduce the amount, the debt is forgiven or judgement. Whether I file bankruptcy or the debt is forgiven the end result is the same. My credit history is a matter of fact and it will take a long time and alot of work to rebuilld it. I probably wont live that long.
Accepting facts helps reduce stress. Learning how to budget and sticking to it builds confidence and reduces stress. Paying bills on time and in full rebuilds credit and helps reduce stress. Saving money helps reduce stress. Not living check to check helps reduce stress. Anger increases stress; it is not your friend. I learned stress-busting techniques, too.
It may sound silly but it works. Do not drink caffeine, liquor or soda or any kind or flavor; it increases the heart rate. Drink water instead. Breathing exercise reduces the heart rate. Teach your body to relax; you will de-stress doing it. Be a kid. Ride a bike, swing, run, jump rope, skip, walk in the grass barefoot. Go into the woods alone; commune with nature. i used to live in the country where there were many birds. Every night during the summer the hoot owl and I would hoot back and forth at each other.
For that thirty minutes nothing was more important than my time with the owl. I never did see it. Everytime I think about bill collectors I change the tape in my head and think of the one place I liked better than any other place in the world. To this day I can see it, feel it and taste it as if I were there. Sit in a quiet place and chant. There is something about the repetative vibration in words like "OMMmmmm" that is de-stressing. If you have a lake nearby, walk by the water and listen closely to the waves slap the shoreline.
If none of the above is appealing, then do something you like. Play Scrabble with your kids. It is amazing how imaginative kids are when it comes to making up words. A nine-year old taught me how to play chess. Talk to your pet; they love the extra attention. I read this story years ago. It inspired me enough that I would like to repeat it here.
A young social worker was sent to her first client. They lived in the wrong part of town in a old but neat house with a big yard. The woman had a sailor hat pulled down over her face. The young caseworker ask what worried her. Her young daughter was pregnant. Her mentally challenged brother was being relsased from state care. Her husband didnt have a job and their bed broke. She didnt know what she was going to do. The case worker asked her what she needed most. The woman lifter her hat . (she had no teeth) and said, "If I could get my teeth fixed I could eat. If I can eat I can figure my way out of this mess." A dentist agreed to fix her teeth and and six months later the caseworker retured. The woman was all smiles. She said her husband went to Goodwill to get a bed; he got a job and the bed, too. The brother was in the back yard in a swing the husband fixed up for him and the new granddaughter was healthy. "Life is good."
I buried a child. I recently moved to a new house, I cant work, My parents are dead. My daughter, my dog and my spouse are dying and Im in debt up to my ears. Academy Collection Services, Inc., of Philadelphia is on my case like a dirty diaper. There is nothing I can do about any of it. I can choose to stress, or I can choose not to stress. I chose the later and found an attorney to represent me at no charge. The spouse, daughter and dog are alive today, there is food in the pantry and the utilites have not been shut off. Life is good.
Answer Posted by | tazewell.cc
Answer 10:This is a very hard question. Most of my stress is caused by money issues, like many others. : ( I worry about how are we going to pay all of the bills and if when we have to be late, which ones are priority.
My husband and I talk alot, it helps get things out so we are not keeping it all inside and stressing even more.
With money being short, we still do family activities. I have felt down at times since we are not able to afford to take our boys to the large amusement parks or the water parks, but with four young boys, the cost is outrageous. I wasnt able to afford to take my boys to the county fair this year so they could ride those rides, that is very stressful, so they went through their toys and i did some cleaning and we had a yard sale. It was $85 for wrist bands for all of them and we made over $150 that weekend. They got to see the value of money and had to prioritize their toys as well as to which were most important to them and how much they wanted to sell the ones they chose to sell. We do alot of cheap usually FREE family activities, which relieve alot of stress. We go to parks, swimming, fishing and have picnics. I love watching our boys play and have fun that has to be one of the best, if not the best stress reliever. We dont talk about our money issues at that time or our jobs. Another thing that has helped is coupons, oh i have loved those coupons, they are a stress reliever in their own way. There are times I wont purchase an item, but when its on sale and I have a coupon its a great feeling and in a way a stress reliever. To sum up, My husband and I talk about our finances and keep them in the open and discuss which are priority. We take inexpensive if not FREE family outings and have fun as a family. I have been teaching my boys the value of money as well ~ letting them know how to put values on their personal things to sell them to get something else they really want. We do alot of family time whether it be picnics at the park, or going to our boys, baseball,football or basketball games.
Answer Posted by | wendylynn93
Answer 11:Im a single parent, with two children eighteen and over. I have a daughter who is attending a University in Arizona, and the way I deal with stress while trying to [url=http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/getoutofdebt.html]get out of debt[/url], is to watch alot of comedy, and laugh my stress away. People often say that laughter is the best medicine, and I believe it is true. I never thought I would be raising my children alone, and I had always thought Im young, I can deal and cope with my problems, but that doesnt always apply. I never had the chance to save like others, I was put onto Disability before the age of 40. But Im proud to say, that even thou I facing a criteria now, that I can rest assure there is help somewhere, and I can be worry free. Thank you!
Answer Posted by | peshlakai_s81