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5 Smart Ways to Reduce Stress Around Personal Debt

Reader's Digest Logo By Lesley Young of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 6: Debt is one of the few stressors in life that doesn’t go away, according to Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford University. “What’s dangerous about debt is how pervasive and chronic it is. Most things in life that stress us out—a car accident, a divorce, a death in the family—happen, and then they’re over. Our bodies are designed to respond to these ‘emergencies’ and bounce back, whereas owing money can become completely inescapable.” Studies have shown that people who have mortgages generally require more health care. “Debt is just bad in general for our health: the amount we worry about it, but also the feeling we have that we can do nothing about it,” says McGonigal. But key emotional, psychological and behavioral studies about our financial decisions show there are healthier ways to manage and spend our money, which ultimately reduce the stress we feel. Here are some suggestions. Don't miss the 13 things debt collectors won't tell you.

Debt stress isn't good for your mental or physical health

Debt is one of the few stressors in life that doesn’t go away, according to Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford University. “What’s dangerous about debt is how pervasive and chronic it is. Most things in life that stress us out—a car accident, a divorce, a death in the family—happen, and then they’re over. Our bodies are designed to respond to these ‘emergencies’ and bounce back, whereas owing money can become completely inescapable.” Studies have shown that people who have mortgages generally require more health care. “Debt is just bad in general for our health: the amount we worry about it, but also the feeling we have that we can do nothing about it,” says McGonigal. But key emotional, psychological and behavioral studies about our financial decisions show there are healthier ways to manage and spend our money, which ultimately reduce the stress we feel. Here are some suggestions. Don't miss the 13 things debt collectors won't tell you.

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