Your mental health strikes a crucial role in keeping a healthy and well-rounded life. Mental health includes social, emotional, and psychological factors which influence how you feel, think, and act in certain situations.
Through it, you can control your way of making choices, handling stress, evaluating different emotions, and interacting with those around you. Your mental health is developed right from the day you’re born through your adult age.
Just like how problems exist in other aspects of your health, mental health problems do happen too. Mental health problems can befall anyone regardless of age or gender. It can happen, especially to people who have undergone traumatic experiences in the past, abuse, violence, unhealed wounds, loss or grief, or too much stress or anxiety caused by everyday problems.
Mental health problems can also come from genetics. Fortunately, regardless of the reason, help is available. This is when people seek mental health counseling.
What Is Mental Health Counseling?
Mental health counseling is a purposeful and formal collaboration between a professional mental health counselor and a client. During this process, both the client and the counselor will work hand in hand to explore mental health problems, challenges, and their root cause, and work on resolving these issues healthily and positively.
The length of each counseling session will vary on the client’s problem or situation. Sessions can continue anywhere, anytime, from weekly meetings to monthly and, sometimes, yearly.
Various nonprofit organizations offer behavioral health and counseling services anywhere in the US, may it be in Rawlings, Wyoming, Pocatello, Idaho, or other locales.
However, counseling isn’t only limited to people with problems. It can benefit and impact anyone, whether your goal is to resolve certain mental health issues or simply improve your life quality. It positively affects your physical health by boosting your immune system, improving your sleeping patterns, and reducing stress.
To deepen your understanding of counseling, here are some of the main reasons why counseling is essential for your mental health.
One of the reasons why a person’s mental health deteriorates is due to problematic relationships. It can be parenting issues, failed romantic relationships, controlling parents, fake friendships, judgmental workmates or boss, or alcoholic family members or loved ones.
Other times, relationship problems come from issues such as your teenage daughter suddenly dropping out of college and announces early pregnancy, your parents telling you they’re filing for divorce, or a family member getting diagnosed with a severe health condition.
All these relationship issues can have a direct impact on your mental health. You may notice sudden fluctuations in your mood, emotions, behavior, and outlook in life. But through counseling, a professional counselor will help you navigate through this roller coaster of emotions. They’ll help you understand and process each intense emotion you’re feeling, may it be extreme sadness, anger, frustration, or pain.
Once you understand why all these problems happen, you’ll then know how to properly handle situations without breaking off any of your relationships or losing any of your loved ones along the way.
Control Substance Abuse
It’s normal for most people to drink alcohol, eat more during certain occasions, or over-spend on certain things. However, when it’s done habitually, it becomes a bad habit and turns into a disorder or abuse. It can be in the form of alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders, uncontrollable over-spending of money for gambling, or too much shopping.
Too much of something can eventually have an adverse effect on your behavior, mood, and mental health. Your priorities change, and you can’t even control yourself anymore to stop as you feel like it’s almost impossible.
Proper counseling will help clean up yourself and cut off any of these bad habits. It may seem possible for you to break them alone, but with proper guidance and motivation from your counselor, you can slowly move on from these habits and see the adverse effects these habits had done on your life from the start.
Counselors will also provide you with strategies to help you get through the transition, offer you healthier alternatives, and help develop new practices that would completely eliminate these unhealthy habits.
Help With Major Life Transitions
Transitions in life, especially the major ones, often come unexpectedly and unplanned. It may be a sudden change in career, pregnancy, retirement, moving to a new city, a breakup from a long-term relationship, getting married, going through a divorce, aging, or the loss of a loved one.
These major changes can be difficult to handle for most people. It can be why some would suddenly experience anxiety, become uncertain about their future, and start having doubts about themselves.
When you go through counseling, your counselor will redirect those negative thoughts and switch them into something positive. After all, life transitions happen not to discourage you or tell you that you failed but they are an opportunity for renewal. Transitions force you to learn, grow, and become a better person. If you know how to handle major life changes properly, you can save yourself from anxiety, unnecessary self-doubt, and uncertainty.
Resolve Trauma Or Abuse
As mentioned earlier, one cause of mental health problems is past trauma or abuse. However, some people don’t know how these past events are affecting their present way of living. For instance, a person has been abused (either physically or verbally) by their parents during their childhood.
They grew up normalizing abuse, and therefore they don’t mind being abused in their current relationship. This happens because of an unresolved abuse or trauma they’ve experienced in the past and no one was able to tell them or help them during those trying times. Fortunately, it’s not too late for you to go for counseling and let them help you diffuse those painful memories and hopefully reduce their impact on your present lives.
When you hear self-care, some of you may think of it as a way of pampering yourself through massages, shopping, eating your favorite food, visiting places you wanted to go to, or getting your hair or nails done. But self-care is way beyond that. Self-care means you also need to look after your inner self, and that is your mental health. One way you can look after your mental health is by going through counseling.
Remember, counseling can also help improve the quality of your life and especially promote self-care. Your counselor can help you manage stress from your everyday life, help you find your purpose, and ensuring you find a balance between taking care of yourself and taking care of others. They will also serve as your listener whenever you feel down, and you need someone to talk to. All these can have a positive effect on your mental health.
The Bottom Line
You can conclude that counseling is one of the best ways to preserve and take care of your mental health. Remember, counseling doesn’t mean that a professional person will tell you what to do. Counselors will only be there to guide you on decisions and emotions, help you understand and work with situations, and be the healthier and happier person you so much deserve.