Although mental health plays a significant role in our general health, it is seldom given the level
of importance that it deserves. Here are 3 reasons why you may need to bump your emotional
well-being to the top of your list of healthy pursuits and consider how a professional mental
health counselor can help you achieve that.
1. Unresolved issues are interfering with your quality of life. Many of us have heard the
phrase “carrying emotional baggage.” It is a general term used to describe someone who
may be carrying around a heavy sack of unhealed emotional wounds. It may sound
simplistic, but there is so much truth to the idea that at some point, that someone will
eventually run out of emotional space! And when they do, the overflow will become
difficult to manage, causing so much distress that life will get hard. In such a case,
seeking assistance from a mental health professional is taking a step forward in the right
direction. A professional counselor can help by first providing a safe environment that
facilitates the process of unpacking. Piece by piece, those unresolved issues or unhealed
wounds can be identified and processed in session, making it possible for emotional
healing to begin.
2. You are experiencing relationship conflict with family, friends, or significant others.
Relationships and conflict go hand in hand. Conflict is not a bad word; it just means that
there is disagreement. But disagreement alone is not the cause of a rift or break up in a
relationship. It is how you handle the disagreement that can determine the outcome of the
conflict. Problems will arise when one or both parties are unwilling to actively listen and
acknowledge what the other is saying or feeling in the midst of a disagreement. When
winning the argument far exceeds maintaining the integrity of the relationship, things will
not go well. Heightened emotions and hurt feelings will only add to the stress within the
relationship. When left unchecked, the problem will no longer be about the conflict, but
about the quality of the relationship. If this is where you find yourself in a relationship, a
professional mental health counselor can help. Counselors are trained to provide
assistance to individuals, couples, and families. You will receive specialized care and
learn valuable skills that include communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving,
and how to establish a healthy emotional connection in a relationship. Be encouraged,
there is hope!
3. You are having a difficult time adjusting after a life transition. Change is an
inevitable part of life. It also comes in many shapes and forms: loss of friendship, move
to college, empty nest, retirement, divorce, trauma, loss of a loved one, just to name a
few. Adjusting to change is no easy task. And at times, the pain and loneliness can
overwhelm you to the point where you may feel as if you are trapped in a bubble, unsure
of what to do next. A mental health professional can come alongside you and with
empathy, hope, and encouragement help you process the significant life changing event
and provide you with helpful coping skills as you adapt to your new normal.
The end of the year is fast approaching. Before you know it, many will be thinking of their
“New Year’s resolution.” The usual list includes eating healthier, exercising, and losing weight.
Since mental health plays a significant role in your general health and well-being, as you
consider other areas you would like to include in your list of healthy pursuits, ask yourself, or
better yet, challenge yourself with the question, why not counseling?
Mirla Zinicola, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern