We go to the doctor for annual check-ups; the dentist twice a year for a cleaning… but when it comes to mental healthcare, we’re often taught to wait until we hit rock bottom before seeking help from a licensed professional.
There is a common misconception that therapy is only for individuals experiencing serious mental health crises. However, therapy can be helpful to anyone, no matter the current state of their mental health.
In fact, regular therapy can help prevent mild-to-moderate mental health concerns from becoming serious or life-threatening.
Here are three of the many ways that preventative mental health care can help you thrive, even when you’re not in crisis!
1. Processing the Past
When it comes to previous trauma, there is a saying that “the body keeps the score.” Even if we are not actively experiencing distress, many of us store difficult memories of the past in our bodies. This can result in physical symptoms, such as headaches, body aches, and frequent illness.
We may also hold onto self-sabotaging behaviors that get in the way of establishing healthy relationships. Examples include over or undereating, online shopping, having unsafe sex, or misusing alcohol.
While we may have developed these behaviors to help us survive previous distress, they may not continue to serve us in the present day.
By processing the past in therapy, we can both unlearn these harmful “survival behaviors” and release stored trauma from our bodies, resulting in more fulfilling relationships and fewer incidences of self-sabotage.
2. Staying Grounded in the Present
We live in a culture that encourages us to maximize productivity, often at the expense of our physical and mental health. We often lead fast-paced lives, organized around filling every spare moment with chores and activities.
In living such a busy lifestyle, many of us lose touch with our minds and bodies. When we don’t intentionally slow down and pay attention to them, we can easily forget to check in with our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. As a result, we may miss the warning signs of mental distress, until they progress to a full-blown mental health crisis.
Therapy encourages you to take a mindful moment for yourself each week to notice what’s going on for you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In particular, mindfulness-based therapies can help you stay grounded in the present moment, allowing you to catch the signs of mental health challenges early and take proactive measures to prevent a crisis.
3. Working Toward the Future
Rather than merely preventing or treating a mental health crisis, therapy can also be a powerful tool for personal growth and development. Therapists use a strengths-based approach that highlights the skills we already have, which we can also use to work toward our goals.
One of the most important things you can do in therapy is to pinpoint what you are hoping to get out of the process. Your therapist will guide you through the process of setting realistic goals for the future while identifying the many strengths you already possess that can help you get there.
Setting goals for the future is an especially critical step in the therapeutic process because it ensures that you’re getting what you want out of therapy.
The right therapist will allow you to define your own goals, rather than dictating the agenda for treatment.
Whether you’re working through the past, staying grounded in the present, or setting goals for the future, therapy can be a powerful tool in your arsenal, even when you are not experiencing a mental health crisis.
Begin Online Therapy in North Carolina or South Carolina
If you are ready to take the plunge, contact us today to get in touch with a licensed professional who can help you get started with therapy, regardless of the current state of your mental health. Our team of caring North Carolina therapists would be honored to support you via online therapy in North Carolina or South Carolina! To start your therapy journey with Renewed Wellness Counseling, please follow these simple steps:
2. Meet with a caring therapist
3. Take back your autonomy, and your life, today!