Medicine prescribed for the treatment of mental health issues often comes in the form of a pill or talk therapy. I believe that medication and talk therapy have powerful benefits. However, I also acknowledge they have their limitations and negative side effects. What are alternatives and adjuncts to these typical forms of treatments?
Research suggests the following have positive benefits for relieving the symptoms associated with a variety of mental health issues:
- Playing video games– “And when we’re in game worlds, I believe that many of us become the best version of ourselves — the most likely to help at a moment’s notice, the most likely to stick with a problem as long as it takes, to get up after failure and try again. And in real life, when we face failure, when we confront obstacles, we often don’t feel that way. We feel overcome, we feel overwhelmed, we feel anxious, maybe depressed, frustrated or cynical. We never have those feelings when we’re playing games, they just don’t exist in games.” –Jane McGonigal
- Owning a Pet– “There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” Watch this video for more evidence.
- Listening to Music– “Playing and listening to music has clear benefits for both mental and physical health. In particular, music was found both to improve the body’s immune system function and to reduce levels of stress.” –Prof. Daniel Levitin
- Exercise– Here are some more mental health benefits of exercise. “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” -Hippocrates
- Meditation– check out HeadSpace or Calm to get started. “I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Writing– “Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” -Graham Green, Ways Of Escape
- Spending Time in Nature– “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” -John Burroughs
- Reading Books- “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
- Hugs–“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” -Virginia Satir
Find a way to integrate one of these into your daily routine and see how you feel- my expectations and hopes are you will feel happier and healthier.
Copyright © 2015 Mariana Prutton. All rights reserved.