On the path to great physical health, many find going to the gym or developing a fitness routine to be a key component. Realizing that physical fitness plays a role in overall health, you most likely devote some time to an active lifestyle and healthy nutrition choices to that end. But what about your mental health? To improve our physical well-being, there’s the gym, the track, a pool, trails, the yoga mat...the list goes on and on. And for your mind? There’s therapy with reflect.
If you think of therapy as a gym workout for your mental health, you’ll start to appreciate the parallels between hitting the gym and regular visits to a qualified reflect therapist. Just like a gym routine, with all of the commitment and effort that goes into it, heading to therapy is a clear message to yourself that you’re taking great measures to improve your mental health.
Get a head-start before issues arise
Sometimes people think that therapy isn’t for them until they’ve reached rock-bottom, completely overwhelmed by circumstances or feelings that are beyond their mental and emotional capacity. While therapy is certainly helpful when you’re in a particularly bad spot or after a traumatic experience, it’s even more useful as part of a maintenance or wellness-promoting personal routine. After all, you don’t wait until you’ve had a heart attack to go to the gym, why should you wait to have a panic attack to go to a therapist?
Just like changing your diet or starting a gym workout, it’s better -- and easier -- to adopt a healthy lifestyle long before you reach such a critical point.
You have the capacity to build good habits from a position of strength. In fact, our therapists at reflect talk about how the work is much more rewarding and effective with clients if they come in before their cup is overflowing - the work itself changes from triaging to building skills.
Set goals to achieve maximum results
One of the biggest tips you’ll hear in the world of fitness is to set goals and track your progress. If you come to the gym, run on the treadmill, and lift weights, you’ll make an impact on your health, but without set goals for what you’re there to achieve, you may find yourself falling off of your routine and asking “why do I even keep going?” In reality your physical fitness is less about huge shifts in your weight or strength, but about small, less-visible changes that you’d have to be paying attention to see.
Therapy is no different. If you walk into the room without setting a goal for change, you’re likely to walk out feeling like you’re just spinning your wheels. It’s easy to place some blame on your therapist for being “ineffective”, but nine times out of ten it comes down to a person’s truly understanding their goals and what they want to change in themselves. That means not only knowing where you want to go, but also tracking the small changes you may begin noticing. Reflect therapists understand this and actively promote out-of-session work to take what you’re learning into the real world, as well as activities like journaling, which bring your focus to the small improvements you might not otherwise notice in day-to-day life.
Change doesn't happen overnight
Many of us have similar goals walking into the gym: build a better body, feel healthier, and gain some extra confidence. And with those similar goals, we all also share an understanding that that kind of change won’t happen overnight. No one expects to lift a few weights one day and wake up the next morning with perfectly toned muscles.
The same thing applies to therapy, though people often feel differently. No matter what your mental health goals are: a better quality of life, better coping skills, a more positive outlook; these types of goals take a bit of time to attain - some sooner than others - and regular intervals with a therapist can set a clearer, more constructive path than trying to figure it all out yourself. It takes time and repeated efforts to build up to a better headspace, just like going to the gym.
With continued, active involvement in the therapy process, your goals will start to really take shape.
Expert guidance makes all the difference
If you’re looking to live a more fulfilling life, working with a reflect therapist is much the same as working with a physical trainer to design and implement a fitness routine. Without the guidance of a professional you could be unknowingly hurting yourself or missing out on key techniques, not to mention the support and progress-checking that only a professional can provide.
So if you’re looking to improve your physical fitness - hit the gym alongside a coach. And if you’re looking to improve your mental health, consider working with one of reflect’s many qualified and vetted therapists. You’ll see that when you find the right fit, you’ll benefit from having an expert to partner with you to achieve your goals and enjoy a better quality of life.
If you're eager to make changes in your life and with your mental health, a reflect therapist is the perfect partner to get you there. It's easy to get started, simply take our survey here to get matched for free with therapists who fit your needs and preferences.