When you think of achieving optimal health, the first points on the checklist are eating veggies, getting enough shut-eye, and counting your daily steps. At the bottom of the list (if it even makes it at all)? Boosting your mental health.
Sure, your weekly five-minute meditations might help you up your Zen level, but why does really diving into the state of your internal wellbeing so often get pushed to the back burner?
“Clients often report feeling shame or embarrassment about seeking help for their mental health,” says Talkspace’s Amy Cirbus, PhD, LMHC. “Some people report worrying that others will see or treat them differently or think they’re ‘crazy’—a word still used in a derogatory manner to describe mental illness.”
Some ground has been covered on erasing the stigma surrounding mental health (since going to therapy is really no different from stopping by the grocery store to pick up food for the week or dropping into a yoga class for an endorphin-inducing stretch), but the other barrier to scoring that inside-out healthy status is access to traditional therapy methods.
It’s safe to say the benefits outweigh the leg work—but still, who needs leg work? To bring the therapy benefits straight to you, Talkspace is a platform that matches you with a licensed therapist who specializes in your specific needs—eliminating the frustrating sessions with therapists you don’t feel “get” you.
And the best part is, there’s no commute to a stuffy office with weird chairs. You’re able to establish a relationship, identify treatment goals, and speak on a daily basis (that’s right, daily)—all on your device, so it’s convenient for you.
“This consistent access fosters deep connection and awareness of details that may get lost over the course of a week in traditional therapy,” Cirbus says. So you can simply pick up your phone and let out your feelings on the spot—instead of venting to your friends.
If you’re still thinking, come on—everyone feels a little stressed or down sometimes. Do I really need therapy for that? Here’s why you should consider it (even if you’re in a great mood while reading this).
Keep scrolling to learn 5 online therapy benefits you may have never thought of before.
1. Finding a new normal
If you deal with anxiety or depression (or are just human), it can be easy to let your negative emotions take control of your thoughts and become intertwined with your identity. “As humans, we gravitate toward habit,” Cirbus says. “The habit of being in a state of anxiety or depression is tough to break—people can feel hopeless that things will change or that they can feel differently.”
You know those people (and maybe you’re one of them) who seem to wear their stress like a badge of honor? Opting for online therapy can help detach that constantly frazzled state from your identity, according to Cirbus. With this step, you can potentially start to understand that you can feel differently, while also gaining support to help shift this sometimes rigid mindset. Because wouldn’t you rather your go-to response to “how are you?” be “great!” instead of “sooo stressed”?
2. Decreasing workplace stress
Having a rough day at work every now and then comes with the territory of having a career, but sometimes the overall stress of your job can lead to your feeling uneasy even when you’re not under a strict deadline or prepping for a major meeting.
According to Cirbus, seeking online therapy for workplace stress can help you identify exactly what you’re feeling and why, and then learn pointers on how to cope. “Therapy can help the user create healthy work-life balance, instill healthy boundaries, and utilize coping tools to navigate stressors in the long term,” Cirbus adds. Here’s to more good work days.
If you want to enter into a successful relationship (and TBH who wants a sucky relationship?), Cirbus says it’s vital that you get to know yourself first. And guess what? Online therapy can benefit that, too. “Having a clear sense of self sets you up for understanding not only good boundaries, but it can also help you communicate what it is you need from someone else and what you’re willing to give,” Cirbus says. So the next time you’re about to swipe right, you’ll really know what you’re looking for.
4. While you’re in a relationship
No, therapy isn’t just for bickering married couples (though it’s great for them too), and starting up online therapy seshes with your S.O. is not a red flag. Think of it as putting in the work to strengthen your skillset as a unit before any problems arise.
According to Cirbus, online couples therapy is useful for learning how to communicate effectively with one another, respecting the differences you find in each other (even if they do smack loudly when they eat), and identifying what each partner needs—all in a healthy setting. Of course couples fight—but now you can learn how to do it in a constructive manner.
5. Dealing with change
While you might not think of change as something you can get help for—it is. You know that slightly panicked feeling you get when your life seems to be spiraling out of your control? Been there.
Change is inevitable, but those overwhelmed feelings don’t have to be. “If you haven’t developed coping strategies to deal with the lack of control and discomfort that change brings, it can be incredibly disruptive and emotionally draining,” Cirbus explains. Online therapy sessions can help you manage and process these uneasy feelings, while teaching you how to adapt both mentally and emotionally, according to Cirbus.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by work or a relationship (or simply need a venting sesh with no questions asked), just pick up your phone. Admit it—acing this part of your health might be easier than sorting through your weekly grocery haul.
Sponsored by Talkspace