Occupational Therapy and Mental Health

Learning to balance your physical and mental health is essential to maintaining a functional lifestyle. Most people know that occupational therapy works to help people recuperate from physical illness, but what most people don’t know is that occupational therapy actually originated in psychiatric hospitals to help people with their mental health. Through occupational therapies, psychiatric hospitals could engage their patients in meaningful activities to keep them productive, focused, and mentally engaged. Though much has changed in the world of medicine since occupational therapy began, there is still a holistic approach to OT that accounts for mental health during treatment. 

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Leaving stress unchecked can contribute to high blood pressure, and obesity, and can manifest as irritability and aggression. Occupational therapy can help you learn techniques to reduce stress levels. In occupational therapy, patients can learn how to cope with their stress through various methods such as yoga, exercise, and other engaging activities. Low-impact exercises such as these have been shown to lower stress hormones with simultaneously increasing endorphin levels and GABA, another feel-good chemical. These brain chemicals work together to decrease anxiety and improve mood. 

Learn to Control Your Emotions

Occupational therapy can include anger management, conflict resolution, social skill training, and interpersonal dynamics. Addressing uncomfortable topics can be the first step in addressing deeper mental health issues. Focusing on emotions such as fear, loneliness, rejection, and abandonment can give you a better idea of how your past may be affecting your emotional responses. 

Symptom Management 

Managing the symptoms of our mental health can include coping skills, stress reduction techniques, and emotional awareness. Learning healthy ways to deal with our mental struggles is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. In occupational therapy, your therapist can help you devise a plan tailored to fit your needs. Eating healthy, getting the right amount of sleep, exercising regularly, and setting goals are all good techniques to help patients manage their symptoms. 

Learn Important Social Skills

Depending on the severity of someone’s health condition, they may benefit from education on certain social cues and skills. Being able to utilize non-verbal cues, being aware of sensitive topics, and being able to respond appropriately are essential to being able to one’s mental health and independence. 

Find Physical and Occupational Therapy Near You

At Theradynamics, we believe in using the latest and most advanced medical technologies in our practice. The interactive metronome is an advanced occupational therapy tool that offers a wide variety of programs to help you develop your motor skills through scenario games that improve mind-muscle connections. If you want to know more about the services we provide, the benefits of occupational therapy for mental health, or would like to schedule an appointment, please visit Theradynamics in Queens NY, or one of our other locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and New Jersey.