Art And Mental Health: Similarity In Dissimilarity

 

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Art comes in innumerable forms. It has been long defined by so many different people, in so many different ways. Countless purposes have been enumerated. And today, one emerging purpose continuously being explored is to heal.

Mental health is an aspect that is now being given attention and importance. It has been a very sensitive topic that has been avoided for so long. Further, mental health has been a deeply misunderstood condition, often, given a direct relation to mental hospitals and craziness.

Very similar to art, mental health gives rise to different meanings for different people. It may be as complicated as shaking and screaming at the sight of something that triggers a miserable memory. Or, it may be as familiar as not having the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Mental Health is indeed a very complicated subject that cannot be easily interpreted.

And now, the question is, how can we heal it? How can we restore a healthy mental state? Is such thing possible? We must understand first that it is different for many people. That what may work for some, may not work for others. That this is the way a person copes, while this utterly alien technique is how another person copes. And that it is fine.

Rising to quick judgments about this will not truly help the person. In fact, it may just discourage that person. We must understand that we have been endowed with different minds, that we all think in our own unique ways–in our personal capacities and speeds. And that there is nothing we can do about it but to embrace it–to develop it.

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Art And Mental Health: Connected

Now, how can we connect art and mental health? In 2004, “creativity in counseling” was finally formalized within the American Counseling Association (ACA) as its 19th Division. This formalization gave birth to the Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC). But long before this event, creative approaches to treatment have been applied by so many psychiatrists and counselors. And this exploration has led to improved communication, authentic self-expression and helped establish human potential.

In addition to this, group therapy is emerging as an efficient way for people to heal. The addition of several fresh perspectives from people with similar experiences helps patients cope. This method acts as a support group–a network of people with similar experiences yet dissimilar opinions.

Further, the support network helped generate relief for people and gave assurance that you are not alone in fighting for mental health. Often, people are afraid to open up and think that they are “weird” or “different,” when in fact, there are people out there who undergo the same experiences. And this kind of therapy helps foster a mutual connection between patients and result in rewarding experiences.

 

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Now What?

Now that we have established that, what course of action should we take? Explore. Let us take this opportunity to explore this method to help contribute to a better, healthy state of mind.

Yes, it is an endless chain of possibilities. Yes, different people think differently and cope differently. But these dissimilarities are what makes us similar. This is a proof that we are all unique–in our own special way. And that each and every uniqueness possessed by each and every one of us are equally important.

6 Truths About Peer Counseling

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When the going gets tough, and the tough gets going, we often find ourselves lost. With just barely existing, barely breathing, the bitter agony hits us hard- we have no one to talk to. Instead, we fear that we have no one to talk to so we shut ourselves out. We lock our rooms. We put on our headphones and sulk into the abyss of despair and overthinking.

Can’t Afford A Therapist? Here’s What You Can Do

One of the oft-cited reasons why people don’t seek therapy is money. Treatment costs a lot, especially when looking at therapists’ hourly rates which can range from as high as $100 to $250 per hour. Immediately, people assume they cannot afford to get professional help, so they stop making efforts for their mental health altogether.

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However, there are still many ways you can take care of your mental health even if a therapist might not be an option for you now.

Build Your Support Network

It is highly beneficial for anyone struggling with their mental health to have their trusted circle. Caring for your mental health in total isolation is not only extremely difficult but can also cause you to spiral down even more.  Even if you find yourself to be introverted, you will still need support from other people. For this, make sure a nurturing support network surrounds you. These people can also offer you some good advice or provide companionship during a difficult time. Even without a therapist, you will reap the same benefits from your support system.

Exercise

For some, exercising keeps them sane much more than trimming their body in shape. Therapists even recommend exercise or any sort of physical activity since they release endorphins. Endorphins act as happy hormones for your brain, reducing the feeling of pain and triggering positivity in your body. By exercising, you will lower stress hormones and help your mind by working your body. The better you feel outside, the better you will feel inside.

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Eat Healthy Food

The importance of a balanced diet goes beyond nutrition; it is also essential for our mental health.  Eating healthy food is vital for self-care as it allows you to feel better physically and even emotionally. Eating foods that are rich in fiber and protein will help keep sugar levels stable and will thus help stabilize anxiety too. In the same manner, complex carbohydrates promote serotonin in the brain, which can regulate your mood, sleep, and appetite.

Additionally, avoiding food that can trigger negative emotions can also be beneficial for you. Foods containing caffeine and sugar mimic the processes of anxiety, so avoiding these might help. To test these pieces of advice, try observing how you feel after eating certain foods as it might surprise how it affects you.

Utilize Online Resources

Even if you can’t afford a therapist, there are online materials you are free to access to help you maintain your mental health. Admittedly, it might not be the complete replacement for a therapist, but it can immensely help you when you need to clear your mind.

Therapist blogs exist online, and actual therapists talk about topics that can serve as guide for their clients. You can easily research these and find therapists who are experts in the kind of issue you’re dealing with. You may opt to subscribe to their newsletter, keep track of their posts, or follow their social media for advice.

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Aside from blogs, there are now also additional options like podcasts or YouTube channels ran by clinicians themselves. Try subscribing in these; this way; you can somehow enjoy the benefits of a therapist without the costly rate.

A therapist can certainly help you face your problems, but that’s not the only option. There are various options that don’t require you to spend money you might not have. Take the suggestions above into consideration and see what works best for you. Remember, taking care of your mental health doesn’t have to cost so much.

 

Understanding Relapse Prevention Therapy

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Getting over an addiction is quite difficult, especially when there is a high possibility that you could experience relapse after trying to quit. It is as if you have no way out once you start to become addicted to drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, or using illegal substances. However, this does not imply that there is nothing you could do to fight the occurrence of relapse in your sober life.  Fortunately, there is still a chance that you could continue to live a happy and healthy life through relapse prevention therapy.

What Is Relapse?

Relapse refers to the urge to go back to something that you have been addicted to after saying “no” to it. It occurs when you encounter experiences or recall memories that will make you want to resort to becoming an addict again. Individuals who have gone through rehabilitation programs usually experience this urge. Even if they have already enjoyed sobriety, it is possible that they will go back to their old ways such as substance abuse or alcohol addiction. However, it is significant to point out that the longer a person has remained sober, the lower he experiences a relapse.

What Is Relapse Prevention Therapy?

There are several forms of cognitive behavior therapy, one of which is relapse prevention therapy. This kind of treatment has been designed to help people work on maintaining a sober and healthy lifestyle after overcoming addiction. Therapists use this to encourage their clients to completely let go of the bad habits that they are addicted to. At the same time, these professionals also help the clients get a full understanding of the adverse effects of addiction and how they could fight possible relapses in the future.

What Are The Techniques Used?

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Take note that the approach used by a therapist varies from one case to another. No exact two clients go through the same programs designed by their chosen therapist. Addiction comes in different forms or types. For this reason, each case contains unique circumstances, symptoms or effects. As such, an excellent therapist works hard in creating personalized approach or technique for each client. Here are some of the common approaches:

  • Determine the possible causes for the condition of the client
  • Look into the available factors that could lead to relapse
  • Identify the pattern of relapse and the interval of the occurrences
  • Encouraging the client to think of the positive effects of successfully quitting from addiction
  • Reminding the client of the adverse effects of addiction
  • Helping a client understand the situation and why relapse takes place
  • Checking into the reasons why previous cases of relapse occurred
  • Creating a treatment plan that will continually motivate the client to fight relapse.

Trying to prevent relapse is challenging, especially when there are temptations everywhere. Do not feel bad in case you experience one because it is only typical once you quit on the item that resulted in your addiction. Luckily, you can try relapse prevention therapy. Be sure to find a therapist whom you can be comfortable with. Let him help you complete overcome addiction.

 

Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

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Sometimes, we get so blinded by temporary happiness and comfort that we fail to see how bad some of our relationships have become. Be it a relationship with your significant other, with your family, or with your friends, warning signs can still arise.

Part of taking care of our mental health is knowing and acknowledging when our relationships have become toxic for us. Below are just some red flags we must not ignore:

Passive–Aggressive Behavior

When the other person continually says nothing is wrong even when you know and ask about it is already a telling sign. It means that the person is punishing you by putting you in the silent treatment. This behavior doesn’t leave room for conflict resolution. Instead, it makes you feel as if you’re overreacting for feeling the way you do. If you feel like the person always shuts you down whenever you try to talk, you may be in a toxic relationship.

Walking On Eggshells

If you must always overthink the littlest actions in fear that the person might misunderstand and make a big deal of it, think twice. Communication and trust are the foundations of healthy relationships. A toxic situation can involve your always having to predict and avoid what might make that person angry.

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Becoming Isolated

If a person discourages you from spending time with other people close to you, it is a red flag. A bigger problem to this is when you are so exhausted that you stop making efforts to see other people you love.

Criticism And Contempt

There is absolutely nothing wrong with constructive criticism meant to help you improve and realize your mistakes. However, when criticism is being used as a channel to express contempt, it might make you feel unappreciated and worthless. By then, you will realize that the line has been crossed from criticism to insult. If the person constantly insults and puts you down as a “joke,” it might be time to rethink your relationship.

You Are Not Yourself

It’s not to say that change is bad. In any given relationship, you are bound to change one way or another. But this change must be in sync with the other person and push you toward becoming a better you. It should not make you feel as if you are losing yourself. It manifests whenever the person is trying to dictate what you can or can’t do. Do not wait until you no longer recognize who you are.

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You Always Feel Bad

You don’t look forward to spending time with the person anymore. You always feel like you cannot do anything right. At this point, all blame goes to you instead of realizing what the person did. It is how a toxic relationship lasts since the burden of staying and fixing the relationship is irrationally shifted to you alone.

You Stop Saying What You Need

When you have been mocked continuously for your needs for connection, affection, and appreciation, you will end up empty. It can be because the other person always meets your needs with arguments, insecurity, accusations, empty promises, or jealousy. What this does is cause you to ignore the need even to communicate your thoughts. You feel as if there is no longer a point to it.

In freeing yourself from any toxic relationship, the first step is admitting that there is a problem. Letting go of relationships is never easy, but you must find the courage to put yourself first, to take care of yourself, and to get the help you need. Here’s to building healthier connections!

Online Counseling In Groups

With all the recent advancements in technology, the lives of many people have become more convenient and more comfortable. An excellent example of this is online counseling, which has helped a lot of individuals ever since it became available to those with mental health issues or problems. One of the most common forms of this treatment is group counseling in an online setting.  

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