Mental illnesses are more common than we think with about one out of every five people in the United States having some type of mental health condition. By the same token, one in 25 has suffered from a severe mental health crisis in any given year. The most common mental condition is an anxiety disorder, followed by depression. While 18.1% of Americans have had an anxiety disorder, almost 7% have had a depressive episode. However, the most important statistic is this: over 59% of those who need treatment do not get it. Whether this is because they can’t afford it, don’t know they need it, are too embarrassed, or just don’t want help, is hard to say.
If you’re suffering from a mental health condition and for some reason, you don’t have or want access to a therapist, there are some things you can do to help yourself.
Ways to Handle Anxiety
Everyone has stress and anxiety once in a while, but if you experience it regularly, or if it is affecting your ability to enjoy life, you may need to take control of it and get your life back. Some self-help techniques are straightforward, such as writing in a journal or getting some exercise while others are more complex, like taking supplements or using essential oils. Here are a few that we think can help you:
Of course, everyone knows how to breathe. It is an involuntary reflex that we don’t even have to think about; our body does it for us. However, have you noticed that sometimes, almost unconsciously, you hold your breath? In those moments where we may be feeling anxious or nervous about something, we often hold our breath without even realizing it.
There are many types of essential oils, and they are becoming more and more prevalent. Rub them on your skin, breath them in through a diffuser or by putting some in water. Additionally, you can add a few drops of essential oils to your tea. Some of the most popular essential oils for anxiety include:
For depression, try the following essential oils:
Similar to essential oils, supplements can be bought over the counter just about anywhere. However, be sure to always check with your doctor before taking any kind of medication or supplement no matter how healthy it claims to be. Some of the most popular for mental health include:
St. John’s Wort
Vitamins A, B, C, D and E
Similar to yoga or meditation, mindfulness is a way for you to be “in the moment” so to speak. There are many different techniques to mindfulness such as these:
Pick up a raisin or any other kind of food with texture. Look at it and focus on its appearance. Then, think about how it feels in your hands. Smell it and think about its fragrance. Finally, put it in your mouth and think about how it tastes and feels in your mouth. If you don’t like raisins, choose something else that you do like.
Observing your thoughts
This is good for when you’re having difficulty concentrating because of racing thoughts. Sitting or laying down, allow your thoughts to flow. Acknowledge them and then let them go. Don’t think about them further. Just let them go. Do this for about five minutes or until you’ve gone through all of your thoughts.
Sit and look out the window. Observe everything you see. Don’t label them or think about each one. Just focus on the shapes, colors and movement. Again, do this for about five minutes or until you feel more grounded.
Did you keep a diary or a journal when you were a kid? Many of us did. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is therapeutic at any age. Journaling, in particular, is good because it lets you acknowledge your feelings. You can then start to distinguish patterns as to why you may be feeling the way you do.
Talking to Someone
Similar to journaling, online support rooms great. You can get on there and talk to other people who might be facing similar issues to you, and you don’t have to actually talk face-to-face. You can stay anonymous and since its electronic, you don’t have to communicate at all if you don’t want to. Simply observe. BetterHelp.com has many different types of groups, including online therapy that can help with any mental or emotional problem you’re experiencing. There’s no appointment needed and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Even if you don’t have access to a therapist or a counselor, you can talk to someone who can empathise and relate to what you’re going through – anytime.