If there was a way you could improve your overall emotional, psychological, and social well-being, would you do it? The results wouldn’t happen overnight, but with time, reflection, and possibly some treatment, you could find more joy in your everyday life. With behavioral healthcare, those results are very possible. In this post, we cover five specific ways behavioral healthcare can improve your life and how you can get started today.
What is behavioral healthcare?
Before we dive into how behavioral healthcare can enhance your day-to-day, let’s first define what we mean by “behavioral healthcare”. Behavioral healthcare is a broad term that encompasses many ways to take care of your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Those ways can include things such as:
- Psychotherapy (also known as just “therapy” or “talk therapy”)
- Marriage and Family Counseling
- Addiction Treatment
- Social work
- Medical attention from your physician
While all these methods can most definitely help improve your overall well-being, for this post, we are mainly focusing on the first two bullet points: psychotherapy and psychiatry.
We are focusing on 5 ways that therapy can improve your life, and we’ll tie in how psychiatry can help after.
5 Ways Behavioral Healthcare Can Improve Your Life
1. Focus on your issues
There is no other place where you can really focus on yourself and your issues besides therapy. And let’s be honest: everyone has issues. Some people tend to bottle up their issues, which isn’t the healthiest option. Many people talk about their issues with their family and friends, which can be better, but also isn’t the same as working through issues with a therapist.
When having a conversation with family and friends, there is usually a back-and-forth. You may be trying to talk about your issues, but they could bring their own issues or opinions into the conversation. Also, there may be some things you don’t feel comfortable being fully honest about with them.
In a therapy session, you have a licensed professional there to help you. They aren’t going to repeat anything you tell them in the session (unless they are worried about your safety), and they have no bias or opinions to bring into the conversation. They are there to solely focus on you, and to help you navigate the issues you are facing in the best, healthiest way possible.
2. Learn coping strategies
Coping strategies are actions or thought processes you perform when presented with an unpleasant or stressful situation or emotion. Developing coping strategies is quite an involved process, as it requires understanding what triggers the negative emotions you experience, and why it triggers them. From there, you can determine healthy actions or thought processes to diffuse or avoid the negative emotions that come with those triggers.
While you could potentially develop coping strategies on your own, therapists are experts when it comes to this. They can help you identify your triggers as well as establish effective coping strategies in a much quicker and more likely effective way than if you were to try to do it on your own. After all, they do this for a living!
3. Process your current and past events
On any given week, most people experience some sort of stress in their lives. Whether it is related to work, relationships, friendships, family, money, etc., talking through that stress with a therapist can help you to unpack and move forward with a clearer head. Also, your therapist will likely help you determine action steps to navigate those stressors in a healthy way.
While getting help to navigate current situations is very helpful, therapists can also help you to process past events. Most people have experienced trauma at some point in their lives. Trauma can significantly impact a person’s emotional, social, and physical well-being, in addition to their overall functioning. Talking through and processing traumatic events in a safe and trusting environment can help you heal from those experiences. Of course, if you aren’t comfortable with talking about your trauma, you do not have to. However, your therapist will be ready for you to do so when you are.
Even if you had past experiences that weren’t necessarily traumatic, but were still stressful or confusing, it can be beneficial to discuss them with a therapist. Doing so can help you gain a deeper understanding of your actions and motivations. That insight can allow you to navigate future situations in ways that decrease your stress and confusion.
4. Improve your communication skills
Talking about your feelings and being vulnerable is hard. Period. But the more you do it, the easier it gets to express what you’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing. If you think about it, most conflicts in life are caused by a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Improving your communication skills will help decrease conflicts and enhance your relationships in all areas of life.
You can more clearly communicate your needs by gaining more insight into who you are, what triggers your negative emotions, what brings you joy, what motivates you, etc. As you gain more insight into who you are, you also tend to gain more insight into others. All this insight helps to guide productive communication, and it makes setting boundaries for your self-care even easier.
5. Gain a better sense of control
When you aren’t aware of why you feel the way you do or how to express your feelings clearly, it can feel like you don’t have control over who you are and what you need. Feeling a lack of power or control in any area of life is a general cause of stress and anxiety. While we can’t control or have power over everything in our lives, we can control how we act and react.
Therapy allows us to gain control of our actions by giving us insight into ourselves and building coping strategies for events that can throw us into a negative headspace. Doing so helps decrease your stress and anxiety, which helps to improve your overall well-being.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Healthcare
Therapy is one form of behavioral healthcare that can improve your life in the five ways listed above. However, psychiatry is another form that may also enhance your emotional, psychological, and social health. Psychiatric treatments can help address symptoms you experience from any mental health condition you may have. These treatments can range from medications to more innovative treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or esketamine.
You can always reach out to a psychiatrist or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) to see if they can assess, diagnose, and treat a mental health condition. Or, if you decide to start with therapy, your therapist can recommend you to a psychiatrist or PMHNP if you are interested and if they think it is appropriate.
One of our favorite sayings at Mindful Health Solutions is that mental health care is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The same applies to behavioral healthcare. While the form of care may vary from person to person, we can guarantee that behavioral healthcare can improve your life and overall well-being.
If you’re ready to begin your behavioral healthcare journey, we want to help. We offer a wide range of behavioral health services and would love to work with you to find what you need. Connect with us today and get the support you deserve.