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The past year has been extremely tough on all of us, so it is extra important to emphasize Mental Health Awareness month now more than ever. Since 1949, May has been observed as a month dedicated to raising awareness for mental health struggles.Reaching out and admitting you want help is a hard step to take, but it is the best decision you can make. Here is a list of the most impactful differences that I have noticed from going to therapy.  

1. Empowerment

    The first, and probably most obvious benefit of talk therapy is becoming empowering. When there are a lot of things weighing you down, you may feel heavy and weak. But talking to a registered professional lifts a huge weight off your shoulders. Finally being able to talk to someone about repressed feelings and emotions leaves you with a new sense of motivation and power. You will feel more confident and happy with yourself. 

2. Improved Communication Skills

Another lesser known benefit of therapy is improved communication skills. It is obvious when you actually think about it- you are simply talking to another individual. But, the way you have to compose sentences to explain feelings that may be hard to put into words, and correctly give information makes it challenging. The more you go to therapy, the more you practice these skills and ultimately improve the way you speak. 

Additionally, talk therapy is basically just a long conversation. You learn how to communicate better, and by educating yourself on how you like to be spoken to by the professional, you can also use it when speaking to other individuals in your everyday life. 

3. Developing Coping Strategies

Another long-term goal of talk therapy is to work through your problems, and to help deal with them in the future. This is typically done by first identifying where the issues stem from, noticing your normal reaction, and then identifying triggers or thoughts that happen before the negative feelings. One is able to see what causes negative thoughts, and work with their therapist to work out strategies to combat negative feelings. For example, individuals with anxiety or panic disorders are able to gain strategies to use when experiencing a panic attack to lessen symptoms. They can use these skills learned in therapy for the rest of their lives, and ultimately have a huge impact on their mental health.

4. Improved Relationships

Similar to improved communication skills, this benefit comes as a result of improved self-awareness. When in therapy one learns a lot about themselves, and is able to identify areas of improvement in their habits. By increasing communication skills, and working past moving on from negative events in one’s past, an individual is likely to have more successful friendships and relationships. 

5. Alleviating Physical Symptoms

Finally, one of the most changing experiences an individual can have in therapy is the alleviation of physical symptoms. Many people suffer from uncomfortable and scary symptoms as a result of specific mental health issues. For example, individuals with anxiety can experience nausea, light-headedness, chest pains, shaking, and many more. In therapy, learning strategies to help relax the body can help lessen and even get rid of the symptoms in the event of a flare up. 

It can be an extremely challenging process to find the right fit for you in a therapist, but it is important to stick with it and find someone who works well for your situation. I cannot recommend reaching out for professional help enough. No matter how miniscule you think the situation may be, it is always important to talk to someone, and can have a number of underlying benefits.

 

UNH 2024 Lover of crewnecks, bagels and rom-coms.
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