Paying off a substantial amount of debt is difficult, but certainly not impossible. You might well be depressed about debt and think there’s nothing that you can do about it. But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You can be free from debt – it’s all about getting into the right mindset and taking action! The road to debt freedom contains plenty of ups and downs and as well as these, you might find yourself experiencing a rollercoaster ride of emotions along the way.
Today and next Wednesday, I’ll be writing about some common emotions that go hand in hand with paying down debt. If you missed any of the emotions I’ve covered previously, here they are: Fear; Denial; Anger; Regret; Acceptance; Passion; Hope and Peace.
Stage 9: Happiness
Are you depressed about debt? Are your debts holding you back from being happy?
If your debts are sky high or out of control, then it’s quite possible that they are getting in the way of you enjoying your life and living it to the full.
Debt can seem like a very dark place, but it doesn’t have to be so. You can get rid of your debt and you can start being happy. You just have to take little steps and keep going.
What is happiness?
“The state of being happy.” Source: Oxford Dictionaries
If not managed carefully, debt will hold you back and restrict you in doing the things that you love and enjoy. It will be at the forefront of your mind in every purchasing decision that you make. Once it gets to this stage, debt becomes a huge burden, affecting your overall happiness and really impacting on your personal life.
In the context of debt, happiness is the awesome emotion you will certainly feel once your debts are paid off and to some extent during your mission to do so as you start being released from the heavy chains of debt.
By getting rid of your debts, you will be giving yourself a good chance of making yourself happy, certainly in the future and also along the way too.
How to find happiness in your debt payoff journey:
Don’t wait for happiness to find you
Do these thoughts sound familiar to you?
“I can’t wait for these dreaded debts to be gone. Roll on three years and I’m going to make up for lost time and so happy.”
“I hate giving up meals out with my friends and not being able to go on holiday. I’ve just got to get through the next few years and accept that life is going to be miserable and then when the debts are gone I can start enjoying myself again.”
If so, stop right there friends! You have to try to be happy now. Why? Because life is too short to be depressed about debt and you should enjoy every minute of it. That doesn’t mean go ahead and book that flight to the Maldives though. You just need to find out what really makes you happy without including things you have to spend a lot of money on to do.
Material things are just… well material things. They’ll probably be worn out in ten years. Holidays; yes they are great and allow you to create special memories but you can still go on holiday when you’re in debt, you just need to reign the spending in a little. You can even travel on a budget as my blogger friend Eva does without it getting in the way of your debt pay off goals.
Don’t allow the debts to get the better of you. Be a ‘glass half full’ person whenever you can and don’t wish your life away. You don’t have to depressed about debt anymore!
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam
Redefine what happiness means to you
As I mentioned earlier, if you’re in debt, it can be easy to wish or hope for more money to come along to free you from this burden which could possibly be making you very unhappy right now.
Practically speaking, more money is what is needed now to pay back your debts, but not necessarily in the future. I’m not saying that money isn’t great, far from it! I’m just saying that money doesn’t need to be your main motivator in being happy.
Dig deep and figure out what makes you happy now. What do you enjoy doing? Spending time with your loved ones? Being outside in the fresh air? Helping other people? Learning a new skill? Maybe you have a hobby that you like to indulge in when you have the time?
Take money out of the equation and find yourself something to do which makes you happy now.
“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.” Thomas Jefferson
Only you can make yourself happy
Happiness doesn’t come along after you’ve been waiting for it for a few years. Only one person can make you happy and that’s yourself. This is why you need to take some time to figure out what truly makes you happy.
Getting rid of your debts will very likely make you feel much happier than you are right now. And like making yourself happy, getting rid of your debts is something that only you can do.
Don’t wait for happiness and keep hoping that you’ll find it one day. Start attacking your debts and you’ll be feeling at least a little bit happier very shortly.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama
Enjoy the ride to debt freedom!
This might sound a little tricky considering paying back debt means making a lot of financial sacrifices. But actually this journey will have a silver lining for you in the end because you’ll be learning all the time from your mistakes and you may even be able to help other people along the way. Stay positive about your debt payoff goals, recognise your achievements and be happy about them.
Trying to be happy is much better for your mental health and well-being than being Mr or Mrs Misery for however long it takes you to pay back your debt.
Don’t compare yourself to other people around you because of the ‘stuff’ they’ve got to show for themselves like a nice house or fancy car. Because thinking like this will bring you down and there’s just no point in that.
Forget about what other people have or haven’t got, just concentrate on you and your own happiness. It’s what we do that makes us happy and the company we keep at the end of the day. A person of great wealth may not necessarily be happy if he / she hates their job and has no-one in their lives to care about.
“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” Charles Spurgeon
Don’t think that you can’t allow yourself to be happy because of your debts. Your time for being depressed about debt is over!
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