If someone is facing a challenging situation or time in their life, it is only natural for them to look for solutions and ways to overcome whatever they are facing — internally or externally. When someone seeks services to help them address their high-stress level or manage symptoms of anxiety, mental fatigue, or depression, they will often seek therapy services.
The specific benefits that therapy brings to any person will depend on what they seek from the experience. These benefits can also be influenced by which of the many therapeutic approaches — such as whether you choose cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy, or an entirely different approach altogether like creative art therapy or interpersonal therapy — they take to get there. If you are wondering what benefits you may get from starting therapy, there are several common but unexpected advantages of going to therapy.
This article will explore ten of these surprising benefits that therapy can bring into your life.
10 Benefits of Seeing a Therapist in Chicago
1. Improve Your Physical Health
The first surprising benefit of seeking therapy is improving your physical health. While many people talk about mental and physical health as separate entities, but when your mind is suffering, so does your body. Thankfully, this can work in reverse too.
If you learn how to improve your mental health — for example, by learning how to manage stress through therapy — you can also improve your physical health. In the case of the stress-reduction example, this can manifest as reduced blood pressure, more restful sleep, lessened chronic pain, and a more resilient immune system.
2. Cultivate Empathy
People are not born with empathy. It is a skill that develops over years of experience engaging and interacting with others. Even then, many people may not cultivate empathy in their daily lives, which can stunt their ability to see situations from another perspective. In therapy, your therapist can help you develop this skill by highlighting those other perspectives. This can help you increase your ability to empathize in your daily interactions with yourself and others.
3. Learn How to Maintain Nourishing Relationships
So then, how do even people seeking individual therapy sessions learn to build and nurture healthier relationships? The simple answer to this question is that when someone learns to be truly considerate of themselves and honor their needs and boundaries, they can cultivate the nourishing and healthy relationships they need to feel fulfilled.
4. Increase Productivity
Many people who attend therapy learn skills and techniques to help them manage anxiety disorders like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, or even other mental health disorders. While these skills are developed to help them overcome the adverse effects of anxiety, depression, or another mental disorder, they can also be used in other situations and areas of life. By implementing the skills and techniques learned to manage stress better, you can have more space in your life for productivity.
In other words, you no longer spend all your energy simply trying to stay afloat amongst the stress, so you have the energy to do things with your time.
5. Get to Know Yourself
Mental health has become an important topic over the years, and many people are doing things to combat common issues — such as burnout. But unfortunately, simply understanding that mental health is important is typically not enough. You need to understand what it means for you to be happy, healthy, and content with the life you have. What this looks like for you may be completely different than it may look for someone else. But, in therapy, you can learn more about your life values, emotions — even the ones you may have tried to bury — and thoughts.
Seeing a therapist in Chicago can make the difference between simply going through the motions of your life (for example, if you have high-functioning depression) and actively living it.
6. Determine Future Goals and Aspirations
In addition to allowing you to understand yourself better, therapy can also give you an excellent look into what you value the most. For example, what areas of your life are the most fulfilling, and in which areas you simply go through the motions. By giving you a space to focus on yourself and your needs and desires, therapy can help you discover what you want to change about your life and set goals for finding and living a life you truly enjoy.
7. Develop Healthy Coping Techniques
Many individuals seeking therapy do so because they struggle with chronic conditions or disorders — from chronic pain to depression and eating disorders to bipolar disorder. The type of therapy you look for will depend on the kind of struggle you face. For example, someone with depression or another mental health disorder may seek cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as these conditions are typically helped by the specific skills and techniques you would learn in CBT.
Keep in mind that CBT may not be the best type of therapy for everyone. The best treatment for you will be the one that offers the skills and techniques you need to best cope with your particular struggles. This said the skills you learn with a therapist in Chicago can be applied throughout your life, for example, in stressful or overwhelming situations.
8. Alter Negative or Harmful Behaviors
Just like thoughts can become harmful, so can behaviors. Unfortunately, many people with mental disorders experience one or more harmful behaviors regularly — whether it is self-sabotage, addiction, or anything else that prevents them from living a healthy lifestyle. But, with the help of therapy, you can learn ways to alter those behaviors into something productive or at least passive. This is a skill that you can use in other areas of your life, especially if you are trying to build good habits and behaviors.
9. Build Better Communication Skills
While not all types of therapy focus on talking, the majority center around this skill — and for good reason. There are very few times in life when communication isn’t essential.
Because of this, building healthy communication skills is one of the most important skills someone can learn. Consequently, it is among the most practiced skills in most therapy approaches.
10. Improved Quality of Life
The final unexpected benefit of seeking therapy is, for lack of a better explanation, a happier life. You get more out of life when you do not spend all your time drowning in worries, discomfort, or indifference for even activities you enjoy. You have the desire and energy to engage with friends and family, to do hobbies you love, and simply enjoy existing in the moment.
This is a feeling that many people take for granted, something they do not notice until it is gone, or even more likely, something they may not see until it has returned after being submerged under stress, anxiety, and indifference for so long.
Find a Therapist in Chicago
Everyone can get something from therapy. Whether you are a high schooler or a retiree or whether you have a chronic condition or an acute problem, therapy can help you build the skills needed to cope with what is going on in your life. While many people may go to therapy to manage chronic mental health conditions, create work-life balance, heal from an experience, cope with the loss of a loved one, or build the skills needed to overcome a challenging situation, there is no “wrong” or “unworthy” reason to seek the support of a therapist in your life.
No matter your reason, if you are considering starting therapy, don’t wait until something “goes wrong.” The simple truth is you’ll never find the right form of treatment for you if you never start looking. So, if you want to find a therapist in Chicago to learn more about yourself and how to live a fulfilling and balanced life, start with Modern Intimacy. Modern Intimacy hosts a large selection of therapists with differing focuses, life experiences, and approaches to therapy so you can find the right match for your needs without having to explore clinic after clinic.