It wasn’t so long ago that therapy was thought of as a weakness.
Here’s why: Many of us learned that internal problems shouldn’t be discussed. Issues like anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses were often brushed under the rug, and day to day mental challenges weren’t seen as legitimate compared to physical injuries.
Nothing could be further from the truth. One in five American adults has a mental health condition, and all of us struggle with internal obstacles.
As research has disproven the many stigmas surrounding mental health, more and more people are turning to therapy to overcome difficulties from their past and develop stronger coping mechanisms for their future. It can also help an individual clarify their goals—figuring out who they are and where they want to go in life.
Still not convinced? Here are six major benefits that anyone can get from seeing a therapist:
- A Safe Space to Organize Your Thoughts
One of the main benefits of therapy is that it gives you a safe place to explore and organize your thoughts.
Even if you consider yourself mentally sound for the most part, you undoubtedly experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, irritability, confusion, negative thinking, or a sense of low self worth.
These thoughts can be frustrating and even scary to experience. When going through a stressful time in your life, it can be therapeutic to just get all of those thoughts out in the open.
You can also get feedback from the therapist on where these thoughts might be coming from, what they mean about your mental state, and how to cope with them in the future.
- Accountability for Your Major Life Goals
Whether it’s losing weight, embarking on a new career, or dealing with family drama, talking to a professional can help you overcome any mental obstacles.
A therapist can help you lay out your goals and explore the steps you would need to get there. They can also help you manage your feelings about these goals–and the mental roadblocks that you might be subconsciously creating for yourself.
Having somebody to talk to will also hold you accountable for your progress. This kind of social support will help you build resilience against failures and keep you on track towards your next life achievement.
- Treatment for Mental Illnesses and Disabilities
Mental illnesses are more than just a setback, a period of sadness, or a lack of discipline. These are chronic conditions caused by an imbalance or lack of chemicals in the brain that hinder one’s ability to complete their daily tasks.
In addition to medicinal treatment, psychotherapy can give you a comfortable, private setting to heal. Together, you can get to the root of your illness and find coping mechanisms to help you minimize its impact on your life.
Here are some of the illnesses that therapy can help you with:
- Major depressive disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Chronic stress
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Body dysmorphia
It isn’t just mental illnesses—therapy can have an impact on other disabilities as well. Individuals with autism, dementia, and dissociative disorders can benefit from speaking with a therapist.
This therapy provider can give your child an individualized treatment program for autism.
- Treatment for Physical Symptoms
With mental illness and psychological trauma come certain physical symptoms.
Depression, anxiety, stress, and negative thoughts can have significant physical effects. Some of these can even be debilitating.
When mental and emotional issues aren’t dealt with, the body can react as a means of warning you of these issues. Muscle pain, stomach aches, headaches, sleeping issues, and more can just be another way that your body is reacting to stress and mental pain.
Going to therapy can help ease these physical ailment. By easing the mental pain, you can take pressure off of the physical pain too.
- Unearth Repressed Emotions
Even if you’re not suffering from a mental illness, not expressing your emotions can be dangerous. Unexpressed feelings, frustrations, and traumas can start to pile up if you repress them. Eventually, they’ll explode.
Letting your feelings linger and fester can affect every aspect of your life. You could have a full-on breakdown or start manifesting negative energy in your relationships with your spouse, parents, children, coworkers, and even yourself.
Part of the process of therapy is learning how to unearth your repressed feelings and process them.
- Rewire Your Brain
One of the misconceptions about therapy is that it’s “just talking.” But speaking with a therapist can actually change the structure of your brain.
Medication can alter levels of hormones and activity in the brain, but there’s also evidence that talking to a therapist can do the same.
Psychotherapy can alter activity in the hippocampus, amygdala, and the medial prefrontal cortex. These parts of the brain can control your emotions, fear, and sense of executive control.
Sometimes your negative patterns of thought are actually wired deep into your brain. Therapy can help you rewire these patterns and replace them with new mental habits that are more positive and healthy.
You Deserve Therapy and Support
Whether you want to cope with a mental illness or just establish more healthy patterns of thought, anyone can enjoy the benefits of therapy. You don’t have to be on the edge of a crisis to get support for your mental health.
By being proactive and staying on top of your inner wellbeing, you can prevent your day to day emotions from turning into a life-long problem. Everyone has emotional problems, but nobody needs to suffer them alone.
Looking for more tips to keep your mental and physical health in top shape without breaking the bank? Check out our health and fitness section for more articles.