While mental health concerns are best dealt with professionally, therapy isn't accessible to everyone. Mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness. It means you are in a state of well-being where you feel good and function well in day-to-day life.
The process of caring for mental health is a multi-layered process. While medicine and therapy are frequently beneficial, we often assume that these are our only options if we have a mental illness.
However, there are other possibilities as well. Many factors can have an impact on mental health. It's influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, relationships, work, and sense of self-worth. It makes sense that caring for mental health frequently necessitates a diverse strategy.
How to Enhance Mental Health Without Therapy?
We can all use a little mental health tune-up every once in a while. However, what if your financial circumstances or time constraints prevent you from sitting down with a mental health professional or if you want an alternative to traditional talk therapy?
On that note, here are five simple ways that can help you enhance your mental wellness:
1) Self Care
The way you treat yourself matters. If you don't prioritize taking care of yourself, you will soon come to believe that you're not important.
You deserve to be taken care of, especially by yourself. Making doctor appointments, paying bills, and filling prescriptions are all examples of self-care. It can also be enjoyable and appealing, like taking bubble baths and following skincare regimens. Make time for these activities, as they are all important to your well-being.
Self-care goes beyond simply taking care of oneself (although treating yourself is fun and feels great).
By taking care of yourself, even in the smallest, most tedious ways, you may set yourself up for success.
It may not seem exciting to do these little things, like cleaning your space or being proactive with your health, but establishing these habits will help build a foundation for you to live a more fulfilling life.
2) Self Therapy
If you've wanted to try CBT for anxiety or depression but are unable to see a CBT therapist, you may not need to.
Self-directed CBT has been shown in numerous trials to be quite effective. Self-help treatment can significantly reduce both anxiety and sadness, according to two reviews that comprised over 30 studies. The typical benefit was in the moderate range, meaning people didn’t feel 100% better, but were noticeably less anxious and depressed.
Some techniques you can use on your own include:
- Learning to identify your thought patterns (example, "I am not happy with myself.")
- Discovering how your thoughts affect your feelings and behavior
- Scheduling activities for yourself that bring you enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment.
- Recognizing how your actions influence your thoughts and emotions.
- Planning ways to make the best use of your time.
3) Finding New Hobbies
A wonderful strategy to step outside of your comfort zone is to explore a new activity.
When you try something new and also enjoy yourself, the entire experience can be incredibly validating. You don't have to be the best at everything you do; in fact, you probably won't be till you practice them for a while.
Before you give something a try, you will never know what you like. If you are concerned about the cost of beginning a new activity, see if you can borrow some supplies from a friend or acquaintance to give new things a try.
4) Relaxation Techniques
If you've ever been in therapy, it's possible that your therapist has talked to you about coping tactics and relaxation techniques.
Individuals respond differently to various relaxation techniques. Additionally, each technique is appropriate for a particular circumstance, so pick your technique carefully.
Deep breathing exercises have several benefits. To double the benefits, combine them with yoga.
While under stress, some people find comfort in using sensory grounding strategies like playing with a fidget toy or chewing gum. When you need to unwind, think about taking the day off. Spend the day engaging in activities you enjoy, such as going to the spa or engaging in your favorite pastimes.
5) Find and Stick to Your Routine
It can be difficult to get out of bed, let alone keep up a regular routine, while suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health problem. If you wish to improve your mental health, you must address that issue. It's simpler to maintain motivation when your brain is operating in routine mode.
Get a planner, and write down your ideal schedule so that you can give yourself specific directions. Include bullet lists so that you may mark each task off as you do it. That inspires additional drive. It will be challenging to maintain a routine at first. However, keep at it, and be kind to yourself when you need a break.
Self-directed therapy and wellness tactics are extremely helpful, but they aren’t the only solution to boost mental health. Meeting a licensed therapist can be essential for those with serious conditions and symptoms. Whether you start on your own or with a mental health professional, you deserve better mental well-being.
Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.
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