The issue of mental health is a growing topic in our national discourse. A frank, open conversation regarding mental illness is long overdue. While this is a positive development, we need to be mindful that people in need of treatment can resort to more than just medication. While drugs are a key component for many who suffer from mental illness, it is important to supplement medication with other techniques for managing mental health.
Of course, psychological counseling is a primary part of dealing with mental illness, it doesn’t have to be the only option in the treatment toolbox. The following are ideas to explore when seeking to supplement counseling and medication.
Many doctors will tell you the very best treatment for mental health problems is exercise. Chronic stress is a big contributor to negative health effects, both mental and physical, but you can manage it a lot easier if you exercise regularly. It’s a good outlet that reduces stress and releases endorphins that boost your mood significantly. Exercising regularly also helps you sleep better which is vital for anyone trying to manage mental illness.
Talking therapies are the most effective way of dealing with mental health problems on a long-term basis, but it’s not the only therapeutic option. Art therapy are often discounted by critics as being idealistic and childish. But it can be helpful to those who are reluctant or have limited capacity to express or discuss emotions. Art therapy gives people the opportunity to express themselves freely and work through the things that are bothering them. It’s particularly good for people that have suffered trauma of some kind, because they may struggle to find the words to talk through what happened to them.
Besides treating physical pain, getting treated at an acupuncture clinic can also massively improve your mood and fight the symptoms and causes of mental illness. In studies on the effect of acupuncture on depression, around 43 percent of subjects saw a marked improvement in their mental health after receiving acupuncture. People are often turned off by the idea of acupuncture because of its seemingly invasive nature, but the needles are so thin that you won’t really feel a thing.
Hypnotherapy is widely misunderstood, so people tend to disregard it as a viable treatment. Many think hypnotists simply put people to sleep and then try to influence them, but in reality, hypnosis actually does the opposite.
When a person is hypnotized, they are put into a heightened state of awareness, making them far more susceptible to any outside stimulus. The conscious part of the brain is silenced so the unconscious can come to the forefront. The patient is then more open to ideas that are suggested to them. It’s already been used for hundreds of years to treat phobias and pain, but more recently people have started to use it for mental health treatment. Hypnosis is proven as an alternate means to treat stress, something we all experience at work sometimes.
Combination is Key
These and other mental health management techniques are not alternatives to professional treatment. Rather, they can be combined and work in tandem with traditional therapies. So explore the options and find the options that work for you when exploring ways to keep your mind healthy.
Previously published on LiveTheHero.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: istockphoto