5 Things I Learned from My Therapist That I Use Every Day

5 Ways Therapy Has Helped Me

 

There is a stigma that therapy is solely for people struggling with mental illness, however, therapy can help teach us how to navigate every day with a better mindset. Here are five ways therapy has helped me overcome lingering issues and improve my overall well-being.

 

I treat myself like a friend. All of us have a running dialogue in our heads. As we narrate our lives from within, we tend to be especially harsh on ourselves in ways we would never tolerate from someone else. Would you want to be friends with someone who criticized you as much as you criticize yourself? In therapy, I learned to stop holding myself to unreasonable standards and treat myself with more compassion. Just as I would comfort and support a friend who has made a mistake, I strive to do the same for myself without focusing on my failures and flaws.

 

I am not my past. Therapy has helped me learn to accept my past and move forward. You can acknowledge your experiences, your past and your habits without becoming enslaved by them. While past experiences can shape us, they are not who we are. Through therapy, I've learned to face my past and heal, while embracing my present and future with an open heart and open mind. This realization allows me to be present in every moment and receptive to new opportunities and experiences that come my way every single day.

 

I express anger in a healthy way. Uncontrolled anger can be destructive at work and in our relationships, while negatively impacting our health and well-being. Utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques in therapy, I've developed healthier ways of expressing anger. Now, I'm able to recognize destructive behavior patterns and thoughts before they take control. As I've learned healthier anger management strategies, I've noticed reduced stress and a greater sense of well-being.

 

I've learned to say no. Therapy has given me the confidence to say no when friends, family or co-workers have unreasonable requests. I've come to realize that my people-pleasing resulted from fear that I would anger or alienate people by taking up for myself. These days, I don't bend over backward to satisfy the needs of others. I understand that my needs are important and no longer place the needs and desires of others first. As I've learned to establish healthy boundaries, I've experienced less anxiety and developed healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

 

I don't compare. As the old saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy. Therapy has helped me recognize why I should stop comparing my situation to those of others. Just because someone seems to have it all together on the outside doesn't mean it's really true. We can never know the truth about someone's story. We all have our own challenges, failures and successes. As I've learned to recognize these negative thought patterns, I've gotten better at embracing my unique story without comparing it to someone else's.

    

The caring therapists at Fundations Counseling can help you live your best life. Contact us today!