2022 hasn't been easy on any of us. Things are slowly returning to "normal," and many of us feel pressured to bounce back to the way things were before, with a smile on our faces and a spring in our steps. However, the reality for many of us is that things are still tough right now. We may have made it through the past two years of a global pandemic, but most of us won't return to the world unscathed. So, where does that leave us?
There are many ways to work on improving your mental health and emotional wellness yourself. Still, for many, therapy can be a helpful part of the process. So if you've been wondering about giving therapy a try, here are ten ways that therapy may be able to help your mental health and overall wellness in 2022 and beyond.
1. Improve your self-acceptance
It has long been accepted that low self-acceptance leads to a poorer sense of emotional well-being. When we address our self-acceptance, we allow ourselves to accept who we are, including the positives, the negatives, and the somewhere-in-betweens. That's because self-acceptance is about more than loving what we do well. It's about acknowledging the uncomfortable parts and accepting who we are.
Throughout therapy, you'll work with one of our licensed providers to explore the barriers you're facing right now. For example, what's stopping you from accepting who you are? Once you can identify that barrier, we'll work together to overcome it.
Our efforts to improve our mental wellness can become trapped by unconscious self-sabotage. By working, throughout counseling, on unpicking what's holding you back, you'll finally be able to take that all-important step forward towards self-acceptance.
2. Improve confidence
Plenty of people come to therapy and counseling to deal with low self-confidence. But even if your specific reason for attending therapy isn't confidence-based, you'll almost certainly leave with more confidence than you came with.
There's power in facing issues head-on. Your process to therapy, before you even step through the doors of our clinic, might look a little something like this:
Identifying there's an issue you'd like to address
Researching Stillwater therapists
Settling on The NEST Clinic
Scheduling an appointment
Meeting with one of our licensed mental health practitioners
That process alone is empowering. You're taking active steps to improve your life in some meaningful way, and that instills confidence. After a few sessions with our team, you'll be further filled with confidence that you have faced your issues head-on and are working through them and improving your mental health and wellness.
Improved confidence tends to be a natural byproduct of any therapy session, regardless of the specific issue you're trying to address. Addressing a problem is empowering in and of itself.
3. Learn to recognize triggers
We do not exist in a vacuum. Every day we're processing information at a mile a minute without even realizing it. Unfortunately, this passivity can lead to us falling into certain behavioral traps without even knowing it.
There are generic triggers that may cause anxiety, but there are also personal triggers (which you can explore in therapy) that can contribute to negative mental health and wellness without you even knowing it.
These may include (but are certainly not limited to):
Placing yourself in environments that are bad for you
Spending time with toxic people
A toxic cycle of negative thinking
Pre-empting an event before it even happens
Physical reminders of the current issues you're facing (such as carrying a water bottle to stop yourself from being sick if you have anxiety, or constantly checking your work email at home when you're dealing with mounting stress at work, etc.)
Throughout therapy, you'll learn to recognize triggers that make you feel worse. From there, you'll be equipped with two options. You can recognize them for what they are, accept them, and move on. Or, you can take active steps to prevent yourself from experiencing those triggers. We all experience triggers, but therapy can help us recognize them and learn how to deal with them healthily.
4. Learn how to process difficult emotions
Sometimes processing difficult emotions is simply about living in the present and being more mindful. But sometimes, you'll also need a little more support by working with a therapist.
When we experience difficult emotions, like anger, grief, or sadness, we can become prone to emotional outbursts because we haven't given ourselves the time and space to process them. Throughout counseling, you'll learn how to process these difficult emotions by following a step-by-step guide to accepting emotions that may look similar to this:
Identifying your emotions and noticing the sensations they cause
Learning to stay with and accept those feelings
Processing the emotion to know how to react to it
Addressing the emotion
You'll learn how to cope with difficult emotions and then respond appropriately by following this process. What that response is may differ for each person based on their specific circumstance. Some may let the feeling pass, and some may need to re-establish a boundary with another person. Others may have a need that must be met, and some might need to apologize for their actions.
The response options are endless, but therapy can help you get to the point where difficult emotions can be processed and dealt with effectively.
5. Improve your communication skills
When addressing challenges and obstacles in life and relationships, developing healthy communication skills is often part of the process. For example, you might find that you can learn these essential skills by focusing on your mental health and wellness with a therapist. This can then help you move forward as you communicate more effectively with those around you about your concerns while simultaneously understanding the importance of listening.
6. Learn how to manage stress and anxiety
The last few years have probably caused more of us than ever to recognize the signs of stress and anxiety. That, in turn, has made more of us want to deal with their results, so we feel better in our day-to-day lives. As a result, we recently put together a helpful guide on reducing stress and anxiety yourself. The tips are timeless and remain valid month after month, so check out that article if you need to reduce stress and anxiety at home.
But also know that it's OK to speak with a therapist about it. See us as a coping mechanism - somewhere you can go when you need that extra support. You'll learn additional techniques to help manage your stress and anxiety that apply to your own unique situations if you do.
7. Find relief from depression
The link between depression relief and therapy has been studied countless times. Here is an excellent overview explaining how therapy can help with depression. Research from almost every corner of the world has shown that talking therapy is one of the most effective treatments for depression.
It can help you find feelings of self-worth again and help you stop negative thinking cycles that may be exacerbating the problems you're experiencing. Our licensed practitioners will help you explore your depression in greater depth and focus on overcoming it with a trained professional who will support you every step of the way.
Therapy for depression helps with teaching you to notice your depression, specific triggers, and what you can do to stop the cycle in its tracks. It's an empowering tool for people who feel that depression is taking over their lives. Therapy helps you take the power back and put yourself in charge of your mental health and wellness again, which is an excellent tool for relieving the symptoms of depression.
8. Learn you are not alone
This next point is significant. Whenever we're in a place in our lives that feels unbalanced and not like ourselves, we can feel as though it is us against the world. We feel as though nobody can understand the feelings we're experiencing and the thoughts we're having, and that can make us feel isolated. This can ultimately make the problems worse.
We often find at The NEST Clinic that the secret to success is connection. When we stop those feelings of loneliness and isolation and open the door to support, we often find our problems much easier to manage.
It becomes much easier to accept support from everyone around you, not just our team. And that can be an excellent outcome of therapy. You learn that you're not alone because plenty of people experience the same types of challenges as you.
If you're wondering if therapy sessions would be helpful for you, look at our recent guide, 'Are Therapy Sessions Right For Me?' to learn more.
9. You may experience relief from some of your physical symptoms
There is a direct connection between our physical health and mental health. If you're struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or a mental health disorder, it's likely impacting your physical health as well. You may notice changes in your ability to sleep or eat. You may have headaches, shortness of breath, or chronic pain. By addressing your mental health, you may notice that you find relief from these symptoms.
In addition, here at The NEST Clinic, one of our areas of specialty is women's health, specifically reproductive and perinatal mental health. We have a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner on staff who is a Certified Menopause Practitioner. Medication management and hormone therapy in perimenopause and menopause often need the support of a professional.
By working closely with our Certified Menopause Practitioner, you'll be able to relieve the physical symptoms of menopause by dealing with symptoms such as:
The link between our physical and mental health has never been better understood. So, by dealing with your mental wellness, you may notice an improvement in your physical health.
10. Learn new, healthy habits
If you're looking for therapy in Stillwater, perhaps the most significant change you will notice as you complete sessions is the development of new, healthy habits. These will help change the way you think and behave for the better. You might learn to:
Challenge unhelpful thoughts
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
Avoid triggering situations
Communicate more effectively with those around you
Prevent unhelpful behaviors
There are plenty of other new, healthy habits you might learn along the way based on your specific situation. The beauty of working with a Stillwater therapist is that you'll walk away with new ways of thinking and behaving that will support you throughout the rest of your life.
Therapy isn't a band-aid we stick on for now to cover a problem or challenge we're facing. It's about making fundamental changes that improve your life from this point onwards. If you're ready to experience positive change in your life, contact us to connect with a therapist that is right for you.