Blame it on the stigma surrounding mental illness, but many people believe seeing a therapist is a weakness. They are afraid that their friends will label them as “crazy” the second they step through a psychologist’s door. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you may have many reasons to seek therapy, even if you don’t suffer any form of mental illness. It can help you work through events in your life, let go of past hurts, and even deal with negativity. But aside from the obvious, you just might find that therapy has a few surprising benefits.
Some physical symptoms are treated in the process
Believe it or not, many physical symptoms are a manifestation of depression, psychological trauma or minor mental health issues. For example, even minor anxiety can result in rapid breathing, insomnia, sweating, increased heart rate, and stomach problems. A therapist can give you tools to deal with your anxiety and alleviate your symptoms.
Therapy can help you get along with others
A therapist might not be able to teach you how to control how others act, but you can certainly learn to better understand them. Therapy can help you overcome negative emotions and learn to see people in a new light. But it can also help you realize when relationships are sour because of your own actions or thoughts. When you deal with your own behavior along with your view of how others should act, you have a better chance of communicating effectively and letting go of negative emotions.
You can rewire your brain
There’s actually quite a bit of evidence that suggests therapy can rewire your brain. In fact, your brain is being rewired all the time as a result of interactions with your environment. This function is what allows us to adjust to circumstances beyond our control. Learning something new builds new connections between the neurons in your brain and rewires it to think differently. One specific type of therapy that is helpful for this type of change is cognitive behavior therapy. When participating in CBT, patients learn to reprogram deeply rooted thoughts by replacing them with positive ones. This type of rewiring is long-lasting and highly effective.
Therapy can prepare you for future problems
Difficulties can’t always be avoided. Whether they’re big or small, we all experience something difficult from time to time. But seeing a therapist can give you a healthy viewpoint and the tools to deal with things as they come up. Why wait until you’ve had enough and blow up at your boss? Learn to deal with life ahead of time and take the sting off of adverse reactions.
Therapy can help you feel less alone
Therapists are not substitutes for friends or family members, but they can certainly give you some comfort. For one thing, you can talk to them about things you may not feel comfortable discussing with others. And the best form of therapy for feeling connected is group therapy. Joining groups of people in similar situations can be extremely comforting and healing.
Finding a good local therapist is an important lifestyle choice for many people. Even if they’ve never suffered from severe mental health issues, they find it extremely beneficial. And it’s not difficult to find one who can help. To begin with, you can just do a quick local search, such as therapists in Baltimore. But be sure to read reviews and ask around before you decide whom to see. And most of all, don’t let hangups and stigma keep you from living the life of mental well-being you deserve.