• Emma Buryd

Mental Health: Expectations vs Reality

Do you want to start taking care of your mental health but you are not completely sure? You may have heard many misleading stories, there are many misconceptions about what mental health is.

No matter how much time you put into it or how much you want it, working on your health won't pay off if you have unrealistic expectations. First, you need to know what to expect so you don't get disappointed in the middle of the journey.

Psychology and mental health have evolved a lot, and those concepts have mixed with other things that are on their periphery. Meditation, spirituality, positive affirmations, crystals, etc.

All of the above are things that can help you in your process, but they are not necessarily tools of psychology. Worlds must be separated, as there are people who believe that taking care of your mental health requires becoming a Tibetian monk.

This is what mental health is and what it is not.

Expectation: Mental health is a lifestyle.

Taking care of your health is not like entering a club. It is not like adopting a vegan diet and signing up for yoga classes. It doesn't require you to change your entire personality or hobbies, nor is it a trend.

Reality: Everyone can work on their mental health.

Just as you don't think that to go to the dentist or eye doctor you must change the way you live, you shouldn't do so when thinking about going to therapy.

Mental health is about learning how your mind works and adopting healthy habits that help you stay at peace and respond to crises.

Expectation: It only takes a few days to see results.

This is not like going to the gym, and even if it is, you will not see immediate results in it either.

You don't start taking care of your health to have a strong and muscular brain, you do it to stay healthy. You can have goals like working on your anxiety or healing a loss, but it's not something you do temporarily.

Reality: It's a long process and requires perseverance.

As you go to professionals and learn about it, you begin to see your mental health differently. A one-week diet will not give you permanent changes, changing the way you view your diet will.

The process is not a line that goes steadily upwards. There are ups, downs, crises, and improvements, and it is totally normal. It's something you do every day, and eventually, it stops being an exercise and it becomes a habit.

Expectation: You only need a meditation app and scented candles.

Today there are thousands of techniques, products, and trends around mental health. As I started, these can complement it, but they are not necessarily mental health techniques.

Reality: Nothing is a substitute for professional help.

Some find healing in meditation, others in aromatherapy, some even in religion or even astrology. All of that is perfectly fine.

However, that is not mental health. They are satellites that orbit around the main planet: certified professional therapy and accompaniment.

Jenniffer from work may have gotten over the death of her father by reading Eat Pray Love, but that doesn't mean it works for you.

Mental health is about that, about looking for it. Learn about yourself every day and thus know what things are positive and what things are negative for your well-being.

It is not a plan with a limited time, they are learnings that you take with you for life.

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