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When you think about going to a spa, you're probably thinking about things like massages, saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis. All of that relaxing stuff and body treatments that are provided by people who know how to treat you right.
It's all physical stuff really, or at least that's the perception that we have of it. It's all stuff that's good for your skin, your muscles and your body in general. It's something that you feel like you want to do if your body is tired and worn down.
But what you probably don't realize is the fact that there are actually quite a few mental health benefits to going to a spa too. I'd actually argue, that it's as good for your mind as it is for your body if not even better.
So if you feel like you're in need of a little bit of mental relaxation, but you don't know where to find it, consider a spa, especially if you've never been before. Let's take a look at the effect spa treatments have on a few different mental health-related issues.
The first and perhaps most obvious thing that going to a spa can help you with is stress. Something that almost all of us will have to deal with at some point in our lives, and unfortunately for a lot of us it's on a daily basis.
The likes of work, family, relationships, illnesses and countless other things can all cause stress in our lives and it's such a huge burden. And one that it's actually pretty dangerous for us to just try and endure.
If you are feeling stressed all the time, you're putting your mind and body and risk and you should look for a way to deal with that. Taking a trip to the spa is one of the most effective treatments for stress, and usually a completely natural one.
The best spa treatment that you can get to help with your stress is a good massage. There are a number of different kinds of massages which are beneficial in different ways and each of them would be worth trying.
Reflexology is great because that focuses on specific points in your feet which correlate to various parts of your body, including your head. A good reflexologist can help you relax your mind so that you can better organize your thoughts.
In addition, a deep tissue massage can help to work out knots and the tension that comes with being stressed. These tense areas will make your stress worse so it's good to get them ironed out with a deep tissue massage.
And the massage oils used in good spas will usually have some stress-relieving effects in their own right. Natural substances like almond oil and coconut oil are popular and are known to ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Confidence issues are another thing that a lot of us have to deal with way too often. It's a sense that people don't find us attractive or don't want to be around us and most of the time these thoughts are unfounded.
No one is really paying as much attention to us as we think that they are, and that's because most of them are going through their own confidence issues. But that doesn't mean that it's hard to shake these feelings.
We start feeling them from a young age and they pick away at us for most of our lives unless we do something about it. Getting a spa treatment can help you develop more confidence in a couple of different ways.
First of all, if you get something like a medical scrub or a facial treatment, it can help you feel more attractive. But in addition to that, confidence issues can often be rooted in anxieties and fears, and being relaxed allows you to think more clearly.
You'll be able to dismiss those baseless fears that people have a negative opinion of you and with that, your confidence will grow.
I should preface this one by saying that if you are suffering from serious depression, a spa treatment is not going to cure you. You should probably seek professional, psychological help from a real therapist.
And even if it's not clinical depression you've got but just a constant sense of feeling sad and down all the time, spa therapy still won't exactly fix that feeling for you. But it can help your depression in other ways.
It will mainly help you to relieve the physical symptoms of depression which in turn should help you to deal with it better. So the best way to utilize a spa treatment for depression is as a kind of extra treatment on top of medicine or therapy.
You can also apply the same logic if you are suffering from anxiety. Depression and anxiety are intrinsically linked and a lot of the symptoms are quite similar so a lot of what works to combat anxiety can also be effective against the depression.
Depression will cause muscle pain and tension so as we discussed already, getting reflexology or a massage should help to ease that and you should also spend some time in a hot tub if your local spa has got one.
Hot tubs will use something called hydrotherapy which helps to relax your muscles and also to increase blood circulation so that you can get more oxygen to your brain. Hot tubs are good for more than just a place to be naked in public and not feel weird about it.
Having sleeping difficulties can be both a symptom of mental health issues and also a major cause of them. And though it may be caused by mental issues, insomnia is ultimately a physical thing.
It comes about due to things like bad circulation and tension in your muscles. So as you can imagine, spending some time in the hot tub getting some of that hydrotherapy going or getting a good massage can be massively helpful in getting your sleep.
Sleep deprivation is absolutely horrendous for your body. It can lead to illnesses, lack of motivation and concentration and also serious long-term health problems including dementia or heart disease.
I know that you might feel like losing sleep isn't that big of an issue and not something that it's worth addressing because you can still go about your daily life for the most part but you really should do something about it, especially if it's long-term. And a trip to the spa should help.
On top of all of these great mental health benefits, treating yourself to some time in the spa just feels really good. Massages, saunas, hot tubs, they're all just really pleasant things to experience and we should be experiencing them as often as possible.