If you’re like most people, you can think of a several ways, at any given time, that you could improve yourself or your life. Exercising more regularly, being a more attentive friend, increasing your vegetable intake, and watching less television might all be on your goal radar. And, again if you’re like most people, your goals tend to be centered on the external – your appearance, your home, your yard, your relationships. But what about the care and keeping of your mind and soul?
September is National Self-Improvement month, and we thought it would be fitting to take this opportunity to discuss mental health. It is estimated that tens of millions of Americans experience mental disorders and less than half receive treatment, we want to help you make sure that, if needed, you have the right information about how to “improve” this very important part of your self.
What you need to know:
- Opting to receiving counseling is not a sign of weakness. or a sign that you lack a strong support system nor does it show that you are incapable of handling your own problems. Rather, going to a mental health therapist is a very courageous, smart thing to do. After all, if you were sick with a physical ailment, you wouldn’t think of yourself as less for seeing a doctor. Seeking some direction for how to handle an issue to circumstance from a professional who can approach it from an unbiased, educated position can help you better process and tackle whatever is happening in your life.
- You’re not alone. According to a 2004 survey, 27% of adults reported having received mental health treatment in the previous two years. This is a great sign that much of the stigma of mental health has gone by the wayside. However, on the other end of the spectrum, last year only 37% of people ages 12-17 with severe depression received mental health treatment; a clear sign that our society has a long ways to go with being proactive about mental health.
- Massage can help. Massage can lower the stress hormone cortisol, leading to improved feelings of wellbeing. Just how much can cortisol be reduced? According to a study conducted by the University of Miami School of Medicine, by over 50%. Also, a study discussed in Military Medicine found that veterans who received massage experienced a significant decrease in anxiety, depression, physical pain, and, in some cases, irritability.
Also if you’re experiencing depression or isolation, sometimes the very act of being touched in a therapeutic way can be a powerful grounding and healing experience. Double this with our Youtopia philosophy which allows our therapists to listen to and honor our clients’ preferences and needs, and our massages can be a truly uplifting, validating, and comforting experience.
Practicing self-care that only focuses on what other can see is neglecting a vital part of yourself; your emotions, feelings, and thoughts. For this National Self-Improvement month we encourage you to take stock of your mental health, and move forward with a little “improvement” of the mind and soul.