Changed Behavior Is Needed for Mental Health Recovery

July 28, 2020 Megan Griffith

Behavioral change isn't the only change needed in recovery from mental illness, but it is a key part of feeling better and living the life you want to live. But it is so incredibly hard. I recently had a frustrating, but productive, conversation with my therapist about how I need to start making behavioral changes if I want to keep improving my mental health, and the reason it was so frustrating is because I have never known how to change my behavior.

I'm a thinker, a highly sensitive person with lots of imagination and creativity, and part of me truly believes I can heal from mental illness and trauma just by thinking about it the right way. But my therapist is right. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Why We Need to Make Behavioral Changes in Recovery

I am learning why behavior change is so important in recovery. You see, most of my mental illness symptoms stem from problematic core beliefs and a dysfunctional sense of self; so, for a long time I genuinely thought that if I just made enough keen insights into my core beliefs and my dysfunctions, I could change them just by thinking about them differently.

I wouldn't need to consciously change my behavior, my behavior would simply adjust as a result of my changed way of thinking about myself. To be fair, there is some truth to that, and I'm very proud of all the insights I've made into my mental health, but it turns out recovery works best when change comes from all sides. We need to change our thinking and our actions.

If you have a hard time with this, I completely understand. Changing my behavior is something I'm truly struggling with right now, but I wanted to share my experience because I want you to know it's okay if changing your behavior is hard. It's okay if part of you doesn't want to do it. I get that. But we just have to keep working toward changed behavior, working toward recovery.

Find out more about my experience with changing my behavior to work toward recovery in the video below.

How have you approached your behavior when it comes to recovering from mental illness? Is it hard for you, or do you tend to struggle with the other end of the spectrum, changing your unconscious thoughts and beliefs? Share your experience with our community in the comments below, you never know who might need to hear your story.

APA Reference
Griffith, M. (2020, July 28). Changed Behavior Is Needed for Mental Health Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Megan Griffith

Find Megan on Facebook, Tumblr and her personal blog.

July, 29 2020 at 7:58 pm

I agree. It's hard, but it's important. I'm so glad you enjoyed the article and video!

Lizanne Corbit
July, 28 2020 at 6:39 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience! I love that you made the point of saying you never even knew how to change your behavior because this is an area so many can relate to. We often think about changing thoughts or mindset or beliefs, but the behaviors and the actions around them (that support them) are just as important for us to really see (and make) changes!

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