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The Benefits Of Keeping Aquariums On your Mental Health 

It may not seem like an obvious choice at first. However, keeping fish and shrimp can have a positive effect on your mental health. This article explores these benefits and how fish can improve your home or your study space. 

 

Improving your mental health

Keeping fish or shrimp falls under ‘animalassisted therapy’. In most cases either dogs or cats are used in this type of therapy. However, fish can have positive effects as well.  The biggest advantages to fish (or any animal), is that they connect you with nature. A 2005 study showed that contact with nature can provide a populationwide strategy for the prevention of mental health issues.  

 

So, what is it about fish specifically that can help us with our mental health? As well as connecting us with nature, fish live in water, and water has many therapeutic benefits. Many people find the sound and visual effect of running water very calming. In fact, you can achieve the same effect just sitting and looking at the water in the sea or a lake.

 

Owning a tank

You can have all the benefits of fish and water by owning your own tank. Fish owners all state that overall the most stressful part of owning fish, is generally the initial set up. Yet, many owners agree that the benefits outweigh any of the initial stress. However, it is not always practical to own your own fish.  If you are unable to own your own fish tank, then you can still gain all these benefits by visiting fish. Maybe you have a local fishpond or aquarium? Even just the occasional visit has been shown to greatly improve a person’s mental health.  

BHTC vision and values

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching pride itself in putting clients’ mental health first. I strongly believe in the therapeutic benefits of fish, shrimp and water snails, which is why there is an aquarium in the BHTC study and coaching space. These delightful, calming creatures are, therefore, incorporated into our sessions, wherever possible. For example, in coaching, the relaxing sound of water flowing can relax you enough to explore areas of your life in greater detail.

In terms of tutoring, often children can be nervous about coming to a tutor for the first session and it provides common ground and opportunities for conversation that isn’t exclusively focused on them. This can help calm tutees and make them feel relaxed. BHTC also allows clients to bring their own slippers to wear, if they want to really feel at home!

 

If you would like a calming environment to learn or to re-evaluate your life and achieve your big goals, then BHTC is for you! Drop me an email (hello@bexharper.com) to find out more!

What are your big dreams?

For a long time, one of the biggest dreams for me was to hold a book in my hands that I had helped create. When I received my copy of Domestic Imaginaries: Navigating the Home in Global Literary and Visual Cultures in the mail and held it in my hands, it was the greatest feeling of completion, and like a goal I had been working towards for years had finally reached fruition. But getting started was difficult, as I had never published a book before and neither had my co-editor, Hollie. Nevertheless, we really went for it!

Although I believe in regular goal setting and reviewing, I feel it is also important to prioritise your top goals. This is because we often start something difficult, and when we hit a difficult point, it can feel natural to give up and go onto something else that is easier and less daunting. Something safe. If you are someone with a lot of goals this can be dangerous because you could get deflated as you chip away at several dozen goals, but never really achieving any real milestones or completing any goals. This is why focusing on a maximum of 5 goals at a time is important. If  you are unsure on how to pick, it might be that you try to get balance by attempting to pick one goal for a different area of your life, such as:

  • relationships, friends and family
  • finances
  • career, work and business
  • well-being, health and fitness
  • hobbies, creative projects and travelling
  • personal and spiritual growth

Alternatively, you might find that most of these areas are going well, except for one and you want to set 4 or 5 goals that will get this area back on track.

Or you could pick according to urgency and need. If you could list all your goals and pick the top 5 most important, which would you pick? What could you do right now to get started on making small steps towards these big dreams? Who can you ask to help you? Often, once we break it down into sizeable chunks the big dream just looks like lots of little steps towards a bigger goal. And that is because it is!

If you are interested in finding out more and want to explore coaching with me, book a discovery call with me and find out how to achieve your dreams! Email me at hello@bexharper.com