Heidi Thiel, Community Outreach for http://siegemedia.com shared with Healthy Lombard the following beginner’s guide on using self-therapy to decrease stress levels. The piece covers what self-therapy is and why it’s effective, along with beginner-level tips for improving mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. With a whopping 77% of Americans feeling regularly sick from stress, awareness of these types of strategies is more important than ever.
What is Self-Therapy and How Does It Work?
Self-therapy is the practice of treating yourself with therapeutic methods in order to deal with emotional or personal problems. Self-therapy can encompass a variety of therapeutic philosophies including psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness practices. For this year’s National Stress Awareness Day, we’ll focus on providing simple self-therapy tips that you can incorporate into your weekly routine.
Since the self-help genre has gotten a bit of a bad name in recent years, you might be feeling like this all sounds too good to be true. However, scientists have been studying the effects of self-counseling for years, and the results have been promising. In one study, researchers compared the effects of self-therapy against traditional, face-to-face counseling. They found that each method actually had equal effects on participants’ levels of anxiety!
Additional studies have also shown that a wide variety of holistic self-therapy practices can help reduce stress and improve your mood. A study from The Medical Journal of Australia showed that both exercise and bibliotherapy (the therapy of written words) were effective in improving winter depression, and another showed that exercise, relaxation training, and bibliotherapy all helped to improve anxiety. One study even showed that self-help therapy had positive effects on insomnia!
In order to take advantage of these benefits, here are some of the best ways you can treat your mind, body, and soul with stress-relieving self-therapy.
Self-Therapy Tips for the Mind
1. Be Smart With To-Do Lists
Are you the type of person who has multiple to-do lists, with one master to-do list that has all your other lists on it? Though to-do lists can be helpful in getting you organized, sometimes they become too much and actually stress you out more. If you’re finding yourself in this type of situation, just focus on two types of lists: “high-priority” and “other”. Move everything that needs to be done today to the high-priority list, and just focus on that. This will help you avoid decision paralysis and focus on the most important tasks at hand.
2. Focus on the Solution
Instead of dwelling on whatever caused your situation and what you should have done differently, concentrate your energy on what actually matters; the solution. Hindsight is 20/20, and getting yourself worked up over what happened in the past won’t allow you to work toward fixing it for your future.
Sticking to a healthy diet will help you feel better all around, which will allow you to deal with daily stress in a more productive way. However, you can take this a step further by incorporating mood-boosting foods into your diet. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help improve your overall sense of wellbeing and include things like salmon, yogurt, and avocados