Mental wellness goes hand-in-hand with physical health. It’s important because it involves your psychological, emotional, and social life, affecting your choices, relationships with others, and stress management.
However, anxiety disorders might come knocking at one’s door when one faces some problems and stresses in life, making it harder to get over the matter. Symptoms may include feeling fear and nervousness, sweating, panic, and fast heart rate when you have an anxiety disorder.
It’d be best to seek professional help from a trusted therapist when you face this dilemma. Not only will therapy help you expose the possible root of your fears and worries, but it’ll also teach you to face the battle in a calmer, less fearful way and learn how to cope and solve problems, offering you tools to win over anxiety.
If this topic seems of particular interest, check out this ultimate guide to seeing a therapist for your anxiety.
Find A Suitable Therapist
Therapists, counselors, or most commonly known as psychologists, are trained professionals in psychotherapy, handling anxiety and everything circling the world of mental health. They can help you get to the root of anxiety and change your behavior.
Finding a guaranteed psychologist should be your first step when you decide to move towards better mental health. You must work with someone you trust and are comfortable with. Take note that therapy and counseling will require you to open yourself up to your therapist. Thus, comfortability is a must to have the openness needed to be reached.
One tip you can do as you search for a suitable therapist is to consult people who’ve experienced getting treatment or get feedback and suggestions from those in line with this matter such as a mental health hospital. You can also join different online groups that are facing or have faced the same dilemma as yours. You can ask them for any recommendations or feedback from their experiences and assess which you prefer the most and who you think you can work with best.
Schedule An Appointment You’re Comfortable With
As soon as you find the therapist for you, the next step you should take is to schedule your first appointment with them.
You can either do this on a call, online, or do it in person. Most offices nowadays provide a hotline number or a website for you to contact to inquire or make an appointment. This is for convenience purposes. However, if you want to settle this personally and check the clinic’s physical setup, you can always visit the clinic on a schedule that’s preferable for you.
As you do, make sure that the date you’ve set is a convenient schedule for you. Take note that the first session is usually the hardest, so it’s normal to feel a little nervous and afraid. That’s why you need to give yourself a few days to prepare and be ready. This way, you’ll still be able to collect yourself and reduce the level of anxiety.
Understand That Your Therapist Is There To Help You
As mentioned earlier, the first session can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never been to counseling before. But instill in your mind and heart that your therapist is there to help you be better and overcome this problem.
It’s indeed essential that you’re fully confident that this would give you the best possible outcome. It’s never wrong to recognize the need for help. According to what most doctors say, recognizing the dilemma is the first step to healing. On the contrary, if you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable in front of your therapist and be resistant to the process instead, it’ll be a big hindrance to the betterment that you and your therapist are hoping for.
Know that these professionals will never expose your weaknesses and mistakes. They also won’t use them to make you feel awful about yourself. It’s what makes people scared to open up, thinking that their past mistakes will be slapped on their faces. However, it’s the mere opposite. They’ll use them to inspire you to become better and reach the healing you need. They’ll be a support system in this mental health battle you’re facing. Trusting them fully will bring you closer to betterment.
Write Down Your Goals
Know that your therapy isn’t a one-time event you’ll be attending but a journey you’ll be taking with your therapist. Therefore, you should write down your goals and everything you want to achieve after the whole duration of the process.
On your first meeting, make these expectations and goals known to your counselor. Doing so will allow them to understand you better and give you the proper treatment and approach.
On the other hand, if you find it hard to set goals for yourself, you can always answer the question, ‘Where do you see yourself after this treatment?’ This is important so you’ll know why you’re doing this and where you’re leading yourself regarding this process. Knowing your current situation will help you recognize the need to seek help. But identifying where you’ll be after the journey will help you assist yourself in the improvement that you’re wanting to achieve.
Prepare Questions About Everything You’re Worried About
As you take on this journey to self-improvement, you need to fully understand that this is all for you and about you. There are no right or wrong questions, and having doubts and worries is part of the process.
It’s pretty normal to have doubts and questions with regards to yourself, the process, and the goal with it. As they say, a question mark exists to allow us to have questions. Know that making these questions known will bring you closer to answering them. However, keep in mind that not all questions will be answered right away by your therapist. There will also be times that they don’t know the right answers to give to you, but they might be able to help you get closer to the answer that you need. That’s why it’s important that you bring those doubts and queries into the open and let them be asked during your session.
When you have questions lingering in mind or you’re worried about something regarding the process, make sure never to keep it from your therapist so that it won’t alter your wellness journey. It’s essential that you prepare questions before the first meeting so you won’t forget them when you’re there. Never be ashamed to ask them and never hesitate to even inquire and clarify things about billing, scheduling, and insurance matters.
Be Honest And Open
One key factor that your therapist can help you win this mental health battle is when you’re fully open and honest. No matter how good and trained they are, they’ll never be able to give you the right approach if you don’t allow yourself to be honest and open.
It’s undeniable that openness and total transparency can be daunting and shameful, especially when you’re not used to expressing yourself. One of the common reasons why people are scared to open up is caused by betrayal of trust. You might have tried opening yourself to someone else before, yet they used that vulnerability against you. With what happened, it made you close yourself to the world and promised yourself to never expose your weaknesses again to somebody.
However, containing the worries and anxiety in yourself will just make things worse for you. It’s like trapping continuous airflow into a balloon. This might be manageable at first, but it’ll explode soon enough when it can’t handle the pressure anymore.
That’s why it’s of utmost importance that you open up fully to your therapist. Doing so will allow you to give yourself an outlet for all the pressure that you’re facing within yourself. Yes, it’ll be hard and scary for the first few sessions. However, you need to do it if you want to maximize the counseling process and get the best outcome possible.
Expressing every inner thought and feeling in the first session should be done gradually. Nonetheless, this will help you break the ice and be as fragile as possible in your coming sessions.
Block Your Schedule After Every Session
It’s vital that you give yourself time to process and digest all the things that you have just learned and received from your psychologist. Some patients aren’t able to personalize the information they just heard. Sometimes, this needs follow-up processing and internalization.
That’s why it’s advised that you block your schedule after the session and give yourself the chance to fully internalize the information. Doing so will allow you to digest everything, make realizations from it, and fully understand what you’ve learned.
Some patients tend to skip this step, thinking it’s not needed. But keep in mind that internalization is as equally important as your first session. Listening carefully to your counselor will just be wasted if you haven’t fully understood and internalized what you’ve just heard.
Therefore, giving yourself this time for realization would best help you to achieve the betterment you’re seeking.
After all the sets of things listed above, this time is meant for you to relax and fully prepare for what’s about to happen as the morning comes.
It’s advisable that you do things to relax the day before your first session. Assess yourself what makes you relax and eases your tension and stress. It could be a walk in the park, a massage, listening to inspirational music, or whatever it is that could make you feel good and calm.
At the end of the day, what’s best is that you reach a relaxed and calm state of mind. This makes you more prepared as you face the first session of therapy. Not just that, it’ll also help you lessen the anxiety and fear you’re feeling, especially since the first meetings are usually the hardest.
Make A Commitment To Fully Submit To Betterment
It’s important that you fully commit to the process of betterment. You need to keep in mind that this might not be comfortable for you. Opening up the past wounds and shedding them into the light can be tough. There will be times when you want to give up as you might not see the results right away. Therefore, it’d be best to fully commit to this and push yourself to finish the journey amidst the discomfort.
It’ll also be best to change your lifestyle like food and physical activities. You can ask your therapist what diet you should have as food can also contribute to your overall wellness. Not just that, being physically active can also affect the mental state of mind.
Mental wellness is an essential factor in each one’s life. It’ll cause you to make the right decisions and be a better individual towards yourself and others.
Recognizing the need to seek help is a good first step to healing and improvement. When you realize and acknowledge that you’re not well, that’s only when you’ll find yourself looking and asking for help. As soon as you reach this decision for yourself, start scouting for the most suitable psychologist for you. Never take comfortability for granted as this is one of the things that you’re going to need throughout the whole process of treatment.
As soon as you’ve made your choice, make sure to set an appointment schedule that’s convenient for you. This means you’re not rushed so much that it’ll cause you more panic than the first session would start. You need to give yourself ample time to prepare both mentally, emotionally, and physically.
As you prepare, make sure to write down your goals and expectations so you know where you’ll be heading along the process. If you have questions and doubts in mind, it’s best to write them down as well and make them known to your therapist.
Lastly, trust the process and your therapist. It’s crucial that you fully understand that they’re here to help and support you on this journey. That’s why openness and total honesty are important things that you should do in this process.
When you feel like you’re feeling anxious and can’t control your emotions, never hesitate to seek help. Deciding to join counseling and therapy is a big step towards self-improvement. Considering the guide above will surely help you win your quest for optimum mental health and wellness.
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