“Trust other people.” “Have belief in yourself.” “Believe it will be okay.”
It’s easier said than done. Humans cannot survive alone, and we all naturally yearn for social connections. We also cannot live without subconsciously believing in something, and it’s perhaps this subconscious desire that forms the basis of our trust in other humans. In fact, the act of “believing” plays a significant role in mental health. Both the act of belief in others, as well as belief in yourself (self-efficacy) are important to the longterm wellbeing of your personal mental health, as well as the health of your interpersonal relationships. In this article, we will explore the aspects of belief and trust within clinical practices.
Trust and Belief Between Doctors and Patients
For example, when we get sick, we visit our doctor or hospital. The patient needs to trust that the doctor would do their best to treat them. The same goes for the doctor – the doctor gathers the patient’s self-account, and they must trust and believe it to be accurate. The doctors will then use this information to treat the patients appropriately and accordingly. It’s important to note here that the person treating you must be value-neutral. In clinical practice, this means keeping religious or personal ideology out of the practice while pointing out symptoms and conditions from neutral perspectives. Without this prerequisite, the trust between the doctor and patient may be easily broken.
Trust requires courage. Trust creates a connection and makes us more open to one another, but it can also make us more vulnerable. This sense of vulnerability can also trigger our self-defending mechanisms within, creating a conflict where we want to trust but can’t. In a way, trust and distrust always come into play as a fine balance. Trusting in others may not be easy, but if you believe it will be okay, then things will naturally fall into place.
Self-Efficacy is Key to a Healthy Mind
Let’s change our perspective a little bit. Athletes are known for their visualization training, which is a type of mental training aimed to improve concentration, retain physical skills, and overcome trauma – all of which are important aspects in improving and maintaining one’s self-efficacy. Soccer player Lionel Messi would run on the treadmill while watching footage of his own goals. When golfer Tiger Woods feels like he’s losing focus before a shot, he sits down, closes his eyes, and envisions a good shot. It’s scientifically proven that these mental training can lead to higher self-efficacy, and subsequently, improved records. Athletes visualize their success, and believe it into reality. We can also decrease potential disturbing psychological interferences through breathing exercises and positive thinking.
When we are completely immersed in our activities, our anxieties and tension reduce. This makes total immersion an effective psychological technique for calming down. People who can practice mental training with high levels of concentration are likely to be more imaginative. Furthermore, they are likely to possess a greater ability to have belief in themselves. In other words, these types of individuals tend to have higher self-efficacy, which actually directly impacts your capabilities and skills. Believe it to be true, and it will come into fruition. We can say that immersion is one of many ways to deal with our mental health challenges. This really goes to show what belief and trust can do for you.
Expose Yourself Through Open Belief
As mentioned earlier, trust implies opening our hearts up to others. This also requires us to be vulnerable. It’s not an easy task to trust in someone completely, even if it’s someone you like or rely on, due to fears of betrayal, embarrassment, or pain. Let your walls down, stay open, and accept things as they are. Accept others’ intentions, and believe it to be genuine. You may feel a resistance to this idea, and there will always be fears about what would happen if you were to get hurt. However, only those who can overcome these fears can make great strides towards improving their mental health. Only when we have belief in ourselves and trust others, can we build relationships based on trust and belief.
Simply saying “believe it” or “have belief in yourself” sounds easy in theory, yet difficult in practice. Do you have the courage to harness the power of your belief?
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If you’re looking for more tips on how to care for your mental health, check out some of our past blog posts!
Iida, T. (2016). The Effectiveness of Mental Training Based on an Understanding of the Psychological State of the Athlete. Iwate University Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, 25, 39~51. doi: 10.15113/00014452
Kumakura, N. (2008). A Study of “Believing” in Clinical Practice: Thoughts on Kenro Doi’s article, “Psychotherapy and Belief”. The Japanese Journal of Mental Health, 23(2), 49-60. doi: 10.11383/kokoronokenkou1986.23.2_49
Sekizawa, Y., Goto, Y., So, M., Noguchi, R., & Shimizu, E. (2016). Future Predictions on Income and Livelihoods and Their Relationship to Well-being/mental health: An Examination Using Questions From the Consumer Confidence Index. RIETI Discussion Paper Series 16-J-052. Retrieved from: https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/16j052.pdf