By Conal Morrison

Therapy. It’s a word with a lot of heavy and somewhat negative connotations attached to it. At least for me. The first thing I think of is being carted off in a straight jacket while they flash inkblots at me and ask what I see. Terrifying, I know. But thankfully, as time goes on, the idea of therapy is being seen in a much more positive light. People are beginning to understand how important it is to take care of not only their bodies but also their minds.

And this is a fantastic thing. If you break your leg, you don’t continue running on it and hope it’ll somehow heal on its own. You go to a doctor to get it set and so it can heal properly. Your mind is the same. Sometimes it needs a doctor and a little love and care so that it can keep on doing its thing.

My philosophy is this. One life, one body. I believe it’s so important to look after your body and your mind so that you can enjoy all that life has to offer. I know from experience that if my body and my mind aren’t in a good place, I will miss out on opportunities and excitement in my life. So for that reason alone, I personally highly recommend trying out any form of therapy you feel comfortable with.

So What Makes Therapy So Important?

To go back to the analogy of seeing a Doctor. If you get an injury in sports, you go see a physiotherapist, a chiropractor or any other medical professional to help your body get back to its best condition. So why not do the same for your brain? If you’re feeling stressed and pushed to the edge, a great type of therapy for you may be guided meditation or yoga. 

Therapy is more of an umbrella term now for anything that helps you feel better mentally. It no longer simply means sitting in a room being asked, “how does this make you feel?”. I think we all know how that makes us feel. That said, one on one therapy is not all bad and has some benefits to0. It really can feel like the person you are talking to cares about what you have to say. They can focus entirely on you and suggest things that are more or less tailored to your needs.

The Need For Connection

One thing that almost all humans have is a need to connect. The desire to be understood and to be known by other people. This has become an even more pressing need in recent times, thanks to the numerous quarantines we’ve all been through. We all went weeks, months or for some years without seeing loved ones, friends or even our coworkers! 

Some might argue that could be a blessing. But we can all agree that the need for connection is something all people share, and if the idea of going to therapy alone scares you, why not try group therapy? It’s not hard to find groups in your area; a quick google search showed over a dozen places within my hometown alone. Group therapy can be a great way to connect with people from all walks of life, and sometimes, the best way to help yourself is to help others. 

So Why Therapy?

The biggest question, of course, is why go for therapy? The simple answer is to give your mind a helping hand through life and stay at the peak of your mental health. 

For many people, myself included, to say in public that I am going or would go to therapy feels almost like telling everyone I know that something is very wrong with me. It took me a long time to shake this mindset. Something is not wrong with you because you go to therapy. And you don’t have to be suffering from a more serious mental illness to go either.

It’s much better to be aware of little things before they pile up and turn into something more serious. I personally kept pushing aside little warning signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, purely because I didn’t want to admit that maybe I needed some help to get out of my negative thinking. Thankfully, and quite luckily, I had good friends who looked out for me and helped me get the support I needed. 

For these reasons, I personally cannot recommend more that you look after yourself and bring some form of therapy into your everyday life. That may mean visiting a doctor or meditating each night for 15 minutes, or it may be taking an hour a week to walk a mountain trail. Whatever form works for you, I hope it’s on your list for 2022.