Take a second and think of all of the things we do to take care of ourselves…
Many of us schedule routine visits to the Doctor, Dentist, or Optometrist to make sure that we are physically healthy, have good teeth, and keep our vision in check. Some of us go even further, signing up for gym memberships, getting massages, going to Yoga classes, and taking vacations. Even further, some may go out and spend Hundreds on a good meal and drinks, or going to the spa or salon.
Is there anything wrong with doing any of these things? Absolutely not! When at all possible, any combination of the above activities can be great for us. So what is missing?
What about taking care of our mental health needs? Surely, being able to work through persistent or troublesome emotions is also important. Finding ways to alleviate stress, calm our worries, and work through sadness or other concerns can definitely improve how we live our lives. After all, there can often be a link between our emotional or mental state and our physical health, positive or negative. If this is the case, then the idea of seeing a therapist to promote a healthier life isn’t so far-fetched.
In reality though, it seems more likely that people have usually not been as open to the idea of going to therapy as a preventative measure, or in tandem with other self-care methods. But why? As discussed in my previous blog post about the stigma of mental health, many people may be turned-off by misconceptions of what therapy actually is, thinking that it is only for those who are “weak, crazy, unstable, etc.” Others may think that therapy is only for people who are in true crisis, or going through overwhelming events in their lives. Perhaps it is the perceived financial investment that gives us second thoughts.
In many cases, therapy can be about working through a very stressful event, or unresolved past issues. However, it can also be a great opportunity to learn more about ourselves and develop better coping skills OUTSIDE of a major stressor. Then, when something does happen, we are better equipped to work through that situation more quickly, and with less distress. Therapy can also be an important channel to discuss small stressors, work on communication skills, or even process everyday life changes.
In regard to finances, yes, therapy CAN sometimes be an added cost, or may seem like a luxury. However, think about it as an investment in your overall health, much like the other self-care methods discussed above. By being proactive in caring for their mental health, people may save hundreds or thousands of dollars by preventing more intensive care, expensive medications, or even hospitalization. You deserve to live a physically and emotionally healthy life!
Anthony Naguiat, LMHC
About Anthony Naguiat, LMHC:
Anthony is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. He is in private practice in Boca Raton, FL.
His approach to therapy is brief, positively focused, and solution-oriented. While many tend to focus solely on the “problem,” he strives to help clients identify strengths within themselves, their families, their support systems, and their communities. By doing so, clients are able to discover solutions to their problems quickly, and obtain long-lasting results.
**Blog postings are not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling services.**