5 Reasons That Make Seeing a Therapist So Incredible
The pandemic, for many of us, has undoubtedly forced us to question the way we perceive the world and our place in it. In turn, we’ve become anxious, confused, and have even developed the sudden urge to completely re-route the direction of our lives and the people, places, and things in it.
Even just scratching the surface of these emotions can feel overwhelming, which is why it’s important now, more than ever before, to seek the assistance of a professional therapist who can guide you through your thoughts and feelings in a way that will promote and preserve positive mental health practices.
Dr. Marty Cooper, a licensed psychologist and founder of NYC-based Cooper Mental Health Counseling, shares these sentiments, and has seen tremendous growth with his patients who have gone out of their way to identify and work through their struggles.
“While the start of a new year can be a very hopeful and positive time for some, others may experience a hard time,” he tells AskMen. “The new year is often associated with establishing new goals, reviewing where we are in life, and being reminded of time moving forward.”
These yearly, habitual actions are already stress-inducing, but when compounded by the unpredictability and chaos of a pandemic, can spell bad news for those who lack the tips and resources to channel their emotions in a healthy manner.
“The good news is that help is available,” says Cooper, who credits therapy’s ability to tackle five major issues (listed below) that have likely affected us all at some point in our lives.
Different Ways That Therapy Can Help You
By combating loneliness
It’s no surprise that the actions of quarantining and social distancing have resulted in different facets of loneliness. People have essentially removed themselves from society to stay safe, sacrificing face-to-face interaction without even realizing the repercussions.
“Therapy provides an opportunity to engage in a thoughtful process about how you can lessen the feelings of loneliness and be connected to others in a safe way,” says Cooper, who adds that sessions are chance for patients to open up to someone who not only listens, but genuinely cares about their problems.
By developing healthy sleep habits
Proper sleep is essential to function properly at work, home, or in the classroom. If you have too much on your mind, falling or staying asleep can prove to be more like a chore than a necessity, resulting in extreme exhaustion that can significantly impact your overall mental health.
“Research has shown that difficulty sleeping has increased during the pandemic,” says Cooper. “This is related to anxiety, worry, depression, and other symptoms.”
Luckily, therapy can guide patients through different approaches that will help them quell these racing thoughts or emotions of dread and hopelessness, at least temporarily, so they can get some much-needed rest.
By pinpointing sources of anxiety
Unmanageable anxiety is one of the most popular reasons why people seek therapy. It could appear seemingly impossible to surrender to the power of possibility instead of dwelling on what you can’t control.
“A therapist with experience in mindfulness — the ability to be in the present and an antidote to anxiety — can help you learn the tools to challenge anxiety when you are feeling it,” reveals Cooper. “While this sounds simple, it does require that you actively engage in these tools. If you do, they are incredibly powerful.”
It’s important to note that you don’t need to reach a breaking point before making the decision to start therapy. These aforementioned mind tools are useful for practically anyone who wants to get a better handle on stress management.
By facing your depression
If thoughts of sadness and despair appear to be consuming or influencing your day-to-day life, even when it comes to the most mundane of tasks, it is certainly worthwhile to be proactive about finding a therapist to get you out of this rut.
“While depression and anxiety are not unique to the pandemic, they have become worse for many people,” shares Cooper. “Depression is often associated with negative beliefs about ourselves, the future, and the world. A therapist can work with you to recognize your thoughts and feelings and figure out how to best work with your thoughts to lessen the associated symptoms.”
By encouraging a change in career
Perhaps one of the most drastic responses to the pandemic has been people’s desire to ditch their careers and pursue jobs that effectively tap into their skill sets and passions.
“We have been hearing terms like ‘The Great Resignation’ or ‘The Great Reshuffle,’ which is referring to the significant career shifts that people have made during the pandemic,” says Cooper. “Changing careers or jobs can be quite daunting and some therapists have specific training in career counseling so they can provide a streamlined model to help you work through these considerations.”
Pursuing therapy should never be perceived as a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Recognizing that you’re suffering and going out of your way to find help is one of the biggest signs of strength, especially in this new, challenging world full of doubt and inconsistency.
Be sure to choose a healthcare provider you trust and feel comfortable with and surrender to the process. After just a few months, you’ll likely be happy you did.
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