Why I’m Seeing a Therapist Even Though I’m in a Good Place
posted on July 19, 2018 | by Amanda Holstein
When people think of seeing a therapist, they often see it as a last resort when everything in their life is going wrong. Well, I’m here to change that. Taking care of your mind is something we should be doing regularly, just like exercising or going to the dentist. Everything begins with the mind, so why don’t we prioritize that? For me, this is through therapy, but there are many other ways, of course.
I’ve opened up on Advice from a 20 Something on my experiences with depression and what I’ve learned from therapy. I started in my early twenties and have seen one and on and off ever since. When I say on and off, I mean that I’d go when I was feeling depressed and leave when I was feeling better. This usually meant going consistently for a year, then taking two years off, and repeating this cycle.
This time around, I decided to try something new. I decided to stick with therapy even though I was feeling a million times better. Because therapy isn’t just for solving momentary struggles. It’s for gaining an understanding of the way your brain works and how to work with it. It’s for strengthening the connection between your mind and your heart. And it’s for nurturing your ability to create the life that you want. So, what has that been like? Well, let me tell you.
It works better when you can think clearly.
I truly believe that therapy works even better when you’re in a good place. Negative voices aren’t clouding your ability to think clearly and you can focus on things that affect your day-to-day. For example, most of my time in therapy in the past was spent getting through a major life change (i.e. moving across the country, breaking up with a boyfriend, my parents’ divorce). But when you’re just living your everyday life, it’s so interesting the things you start to recognize.
It’s helping me to redefine what success means to me.
One of the biggest things I’ve been working on lately is redefining what success looks like to me. I’m extremely hard on myself, as many of us are, and I was realizing I could not be satisfied with my work performance because I was defining success in such limiting terms. Without realizing it, I was directly measuring my success by how much money was in my bank. Therapy helped me truly recognize that fact and then work through how I was going to redefine it. After a few weeks, I’ve been able to separate my self-worth from my bank account. I’ve realized that being true to who I am, and doing what I love, are what define success for me. As long as I can check those boxes, then I’m good.
It’s teaching me how to be nicer to myself.
Whenever I’m feeling down or anxious or stressed, chances are, I’m being really hard on myself. And that’s typically causing more anxiety than the actual situation. While I’ve learned to differentiate between that negative self-talk and my true inner voice, I’ve also begun to replace that negative voice with a more compassionate one. And it’s crazy what a difference it makes! When I tell myself it’s okay or I talk myself up or even give myself a compliment, I’m able to build this strength and resilience that makes everything else not feel so bad.
So, whether you’ve considered therapy in the past, are thinking about it now, or are in the midst of it, I encourage you to give this a try. To stick with therapy, or start it, when you’re in a good place. You’ll be amazed at the progress you make and the improvements it can make to your life!