Although life counseling services or professional counseling services in an office setting can provide unique benefits you might not be able to find online, telehealth services can also help you achieve growth, deal with feelings, and create a safe space to understand and move forward in life. Counselors can teach lifestyle changes and skills for daily life to promote mental and physical health. Below are some strategies inspired by research on current mental healthcare practices.
Therapy-Inspired Strategies For Self-Care
In addition, you may not have to attend therapy to find relief from daily challenges. Several preventative steps toward self-care can be utilized to increase happy, satisfactory moments throughout your days. Below are a few techniques for increasing your well-being.
Accept That Humans Can Make Mistakes
Some individuals might react with self-blame when challenges occur or feel that they “should” react differently. However, many people can make mistakes and experience negative emotions. Try to do your best and make decisions that align with your values. Try to counter self-criticism with optimism or facts. If you accomplish a goal, reward yourself with praise and self-compassion.
Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated
Be kind to others. Try to get involved with community events or help a stranger with their groceries. Offering others kindness may make you feel kind toward yourself. In addition, studies show that social connection can increase mental and physical health, so being in the company of others can have advantages.
Find Methods To Relax
Stress can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on the circumstances. An example of healthy stress could be experiencing fear about an upcoming job interview, waiting for your ultrasound appointment for a new child, or preparing to go on a first date.
On the contrary, unhealthy stress could include worrying over an ex-partner, experiencing an adverse event, or pressuring yourself in perfectionistic ways. Using relaxation techniques may help you address these forms of stress by allowing you to control your nervous system. A few ways you can relax include:
- Taking slow and deep breaths
- Listening to soothing sounds or music
- Watching a movie
- Practicing meditation or yoga
- Going for a walk
- Going on an outing with a friend
- Exercising to increase endorphins in your brain
Have Fun And Enjoy Yourself
Often, individuals might approach life with a serious or structured approach. When schedules get busy, alone time or quality time with cherished friends might be put on the back burner. In the same way that you might schedule time for mandatory daily tasks, try to schedule time for yourself to unwind and enjoy yourself or spend time with those who make you happy.
Participate In A Hobby
Consider getting involved in a past hobby or finding a new hobby. You could learn a new skill like a language or an instrument or take on a project like writing a book. Working on an activity that you enjoy may boost your self-confidence and improve your mood. You might also meet new people, enhance your occupational skillset, or prepare for a new job.
Increase Physical Activity
There are various mental health benefits that you can gain from exercising regularly. You might feel more energized, uplifted, energetic, focused, calm, rested, and physically healthy. In addition, physical activity can be a hobby to bring fun and joy to your life.
Studies show that eating healthy meals can improve mental and physical health. Eat well-balanced, proportioned, and regular meals, including leafy greens, fruit, carbohydrates, and healthy proteins like fish. In addition, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Practice Sleep Hygiene
Adults need around seven hours of sleep or less each night. Teens need eight to ten hours of sleep, and children may need up to 12 hours. Practice sleep hygiene by reducing your electronics usage before bed, ensuring your bed is comfortable, and sleeping in the dark. If you struggle to sleep, you can also reach out to a sleep doctor for further guidance.
Worrying about situations and problems outside of your control may cause further stress. One therapeutic form of acceptance is radical acceptance, which comes from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Radical acceptance involves identifying situations you resist and accepting them fully, allowing yourself to mindfully focus on your intent and let thoughts pass without judgment.
The Role And Benefits Of Counseling
Although caring for your mental health at home can be beneficial, many people find that talking to a licensed therapist offers unique insight they didn’t find during their pursuit of self-care. You do not have to have a mental illness or severe symptoms to reach out to a therapist. You can also meet with therapists to discuss relationships, stress, coping skills, and the management of emotions.
Talking to a qualified therapist allows you an alternative option to speaking to friends or family about your concerns, the opportunity for a nonjudgmental listening ear to provide you a sense of clarity and guidance to improve your everyday life and help you meet realistic goals in your personal or professional life.
During the first therapy session, you and your counselor can collaborate to identify areas of treatment focus, such as processing grief, managing chronic stress, or healing after trauma. After discussing these areas, your therapist can help you develop a treatment plan unique to your needs.
There are various types of counseling available. If you’re avoiding in-person therapy due to various issues, such as struggling to leave home, or financial concerns, you may benefit from online therapy. Internet-based interventions often offer a unique and immediate approach to mental healthcare. You can choose between phone, video, or live chat sessions with a licensed therapist and get matched with a provider. This process can take a few hours or a few days, depending on therapist availability.
In addition, studies show that online therapy can be more effective and cost-friendly than in-person therapy for various mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) You can contact a provider through a platform like BetterHelp for further guidance and the chance to connect with a therapist personally matched to your preferences for therapy. Counseling helps individuals learn unique coping mechanisms for self-care to use at home and throughout life.
How will counseling empower you?
Counseling and other forms of mental health services are designed to empower and support you — no matter what you’re facing in your everyday life. Your counselor will work with you to address anything you specifically need, encouraging and supporting you through your self-discovery and resolution processes.
The way your counselor supports you can look different depending on your unique situation. They may work to address the effects of mental health conditions (formerly known as mental health issues or a mental disorder), using techniques that they’ve learned in their master’s degree program to assist you.
They may also work with you to build interpersonal skills, foster personal growth and promote greater self-acceptance or self-awareness within you. Many find that one of the benefits of counseling is the self-esteem increase that they may experience as they find support and work through negative emotions or experiences.
What is the most important stage of counseling and why?
Many believe that the initial stage of counseling is the most “important” one, as it lays the groundwork for the relationship that will form between you and the trained counselors you work with.
Bringing awareness to the importance of honesty, transparency and trust that’s required when someone uses mental health services to address their needs or mental health conditions (formerly mental health issues) is key — empowering patients to take full advantage of the benefits of counseling that occur when a true therapeutic bond is formed.
How can counseling help individuals in stressful situations?
The importance of counseling (and the benefits of counseling) shouldn’t be overlooked if you or a loved one is walking through a stressful situation. While the goal of counseling isn’t generally to have unconditional positive regard in your circumstances, your counselor can help you to embrace an attitude of mindfulness (which can foster gratitude). Additionally, they can help you to address the effects of any mental health conditions (known previously as mental health issues) that may be exacerbated due to stress.
What do you learn from counseling?
Everyone’s “takeaways” from counseling can vary depending on their unique situation. However, the importance of counseling in our daily life and humanity shouldn’t be overlooked. No matter how large or small the lessons that we get from counseling are, we can collectively acknowledge that the service can help us to take one step closer in our journey of becoming better — collectively.
Common lessons from counseling might center around resiliency, self-acceptance, forgiveness, stress management and other key areas of function.
How can counseling have a positive impact on mental health?
The importance of counseling can’t be understated when it comes to one’s mental health. Working with a licensed counselor can give someone the encouragement or knowledge they need to begin owning their own mental health journey. It can also help people to overcome lifelong roadblocks that otherwise inhibit healing.
How can counseling help social anxiety?
Counseling can be a useful tool for those living with social anxiety disorder. A counselor can work with the person to develop a range of skills and techniques, possibly offering up tools and resources of their own. Some of the most popular techniques suggested for those living with the condition in counseling include self-soothing tactics, reframing skills and tolerance exercises. A counselor may also encourage the person living with the condition to seek secondary support (such as support from a psychiatrist) if it would benefit their specific case.
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