If you've recently struggled with a traumatic life event or aren't feeling yourself, trying to find solace on your own can be difficult. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can exacerbate the negative feelings you're experiencing. You may feel hopeless or lost.
Thankfully, the best online support group will be filled with people who are going through the same struggles you are. They'll accompany you as you heal and empathize with you without judgment.
If this sounds like something you need, read on to learn about all of the benefits of online support groups and how they can aid you in your healing journey.
What is a Support Group?
You can consider a support group a safe space for you to share your struggles with like-minded, empathetic individuals. According to Mental Health America, that are different types of online support groups that target specific struggles or mental illnesses so that people get the help they need. They can be online grief support groups, groups for people who are suffering from chronic illness, depression, OCD, and more.
Consider the major issues that are affecting the quality of your daily life, and find an online support group that targets those issues. You'll soon find that you're not alone and that needing support from others isn't a weakness.
Benefits of Online Support Groups
Now that you know what a support group is, you may be wondering what the specific benefits of online support groups are. There are a number of benefits that are unique to a virtual environment.
When it comes to the exchange of information online, communicating with people is easy. If you struggle with social anxiety, you'll feel freer to express what you're experiencing without fear of judgment due to anonymity. You'll also have time to consider your words carefully.
The exchange of information is also easier because you'll be able to look back at what people said previously–you won't need to take notes. People are also able to provide links and resources in only a matter of seconds, while support groups that meet physically need to gather people's emails or produce hard copies.
Another major benefit of online groups is that you can access them no matter the time–day or night. There may be certain times of the day when you feel lonelier or more overwhelmed than others. If something comes to mind or you experience a triggering event, you have the option of accessing the group immediately.
In-person groups unfortunately don't have this luxury–some may only meet a few times a month.
Accessible to Everyone
Even if you want to attend an in-person meeting, you may be hampered by a lack of funds or the inability to travel. If you live in rural areas, some meetings may be held in cities too far away from your home. Online groups are far easier to access for everyone. There are even free online support groups that provide the same emotional benefits as in-person meetings.
If you find the right support group online, you'll still be able to:
- Feel less alone
- Experience greater control and stability
- Learn coping strategies and tools
- Foster meaningful connections with people
You'll quickly be able to adjust to the format so that it works for you.
An online support group can be a great addition to your daily self-care routine along with meditation, sleeping at least eight hours a day, healthy eating, exercise, and more. They are especially helpful in combination with traditional therapy so that you'll have additional support as well as a place where you can discuss what you just learned with your therapist.
However, they can also be a good first step if you don't have a therapist or don't have a self-care routine in place. If you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do each day, sharing these feelings can be an important step in regaining hope and motivation.
Last but not least, online support groups can be great places to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. You'll be able to benefit from the different insights, perspectives, and life experiences people are able to share. You'll also be given greater insight into your own cultural norms and how these norms contribute to your mental health.
If you've recently moved to an area that doesn't speak your native language, online support groups can be a great place to reconnect with people from your home. You'll be able to find people who speak your language and who may be going through the same feelings of isolation and adjustment.
Finding Your Support Group Today
One of the best parts about online support groups is that they can be the first step toward getting help. You can remain completely anonymous on these groups, which can help encourage you to be more open and vulnerable about your struggles. Since everyone is experiencing the same struggles you are, you'll be safe from being stigmatized or judged.
Best of all, an online support group can be an important first step in your healing journey. It's natural to feel overwhelmed by all the steps you need to take in order to start feeling like yourself again. By speaking with likeminded people, they'll be able to give you tips and strategies that worked for them.
Sometimes, just being able to talk to people freely is all the motivation you need to begin started on your health journey.
Ready to begin looking for the best support group for you? All you need to do is download the Clarapy app today. You can also access our support groups through your web browser.