Recently, mental health is starting to get the true attention it deserves. While there's greater access to mental health professionals and hospitalization, most of us haven't seen a therapist.
Irrespective of the barriers, everyone's mental health is important, and we strive to take care of it. Alternative therapy modalities are gradually gaining popularity because of their no-cost benefit. However, these are generally useful for individuals without a clinical diagnosis.
Ways to Get Mental Health Help without Going to Therapist
We should occasionally do a little mental health checkup. However, what if you want an alternative to standard talk therapy, or your financial situation prevents you from meeting with a mental health professional?
The good news is that you do have a lot of excellent choices. Here are six ways to help you begin your journey towards greater mental health:
1) Mindfulness and Meditation
The term mindfulness has become very popular and for good reason. You can manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions with the aid of this type of meditation.
Meditation practice is to help you become conscious of, watch, and notice your thoughts, feelings, and physical state without reacting to or being fused with them. While meditation and mindfulness can take some time, it can help reduce negativity and enhance overall well-being.
2) Peer Support
Online peer support groups offer a private setting, where you may post questions and personal experiences in confidence.
You can also gain assistance from other members of the group who may be able to offer guidance and suggestions based on their experiences. These online communities are places to seek support rather than counseling, mental health care, or crisis management, and are typically controlled by experts or trained volunteers.
3) Setting Non-negotiables
Setting boundaries and non-negotiables is essential in our career, interpersonal relationships, passions, health, and happiness. However, keep in mind that you may feel inadequate if there're no non-negotiables.
In their absence, there's no center of gravity in you, and you are not sure about your identity. How can you know where you are going if you don't know who you are? That can make you feel stuck and lost. You give in to pressure. You become a victim of violent relationships and become depressed. You start to think you are not worth anything.
So what aspects of yourself are you no longer ready to compromise on? Here are a few instances you can tell yourself: I'll always get a chance. I'll always find a way to carve out time to pursue my interests.
It may be beneficial to use writing as a therapeutic method to express your concerns.
It might even offer fresh perspectives. Journaling was found to increase mothers' emotional well-being, lower stress, and provide fresh perspective in a study of moms who were supporting adult children with substance use disorders while under stress.
Another study found that keeping a journal helps lower stress and improve perspective and contemplation. Due to the high incidence of burnout among medical residents, it has become a common tool for residency programmes.
5) Focus on your Sleep
When our mental well-being takes a toll, focusing on our basic needs becomes essential.
You may feel exhausted all day long if too many many mental health conditions disrupt your sleep cycle. The quality of your sleep is equally important as how long you're asleep for. For instance: A restless night's sleep can leave you exhausted the next day.
By abstaining from caffeine three hours before bed, developing a relaxing evening routine, and training your circadian rhythm by sleeping and getting up at the same time every day, you can improve the quality of your sleep.
6) Try Animal Assisted Therapy
To assist people with mental health concerns, professionals may utilize dogs, horses, and other animals. Animal-assisted therapy can help lessen psychiatric and emotional symptoms, including anxiety and sadness.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy is an example of animal therapy (EAP). By teaching people how to ride and take care of horses, this horse-based therapy tries to change their emotions and behaviors.
Horses are extremely attentive and sensitive to human emotions, as they're predatory animals. Their innate sensitivity is used in therapy. Maintaining self-awareness and using the horse's behavior as feedback is essential for participants, as they concentrate on developing a connection based on mutual understanding.
There are many reasons why people may find it difficult to commit to therapy, including the expense, need for insurance, and rise in demand.
Exercise (such as yoga and dancing), meditation, art, music, journaling, and reading are a few alternatives to therapy. There are apps for mental health that can benefit as well.
Animals can also be a terrific resource for emotional connection if you have access to them. Self-help, though, is merely an alternative and not a solution for addressing your condition, especially for people with serious mental illnesses, for whom the aforementioned techniques might not be helpful.
Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.
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Edited by Bhargav