What I Learned In Therapy Is...
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

What I Learned In Therapy Is...

Blankity blank blank

45
What I Learned In Therapy Is...
Pixabay

In honor of May being Mental Health Month, I thought I would share some of the wisdom that has been imparted on me by therapists, social workers, and guidance counselors over the years. I’ve had a rocky time in regards to mental health and have a lot to thank these compassionate, dedicated professionals for.

While it’s not for everyone, I’m a big advocate of reaching out and letting someone know how you are feeling. It’s important to remember that you are never alone in your emotions and that you deserve attention and care.

Disclaimer: Please do not regard any of this as advice or “tips” on how to deal with your mental health issues. Everyone’s situation is unique and therefore requires unique treatment.

How to control anxiety/panic attacks

This may seem like a fabled superpower, but fear not – it can be done. When the body is under stress, it releases adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone. In some cases, this rush of energy can help you think quickly and get out of tough situations. But during your average, everyday anxiety attack, all it does is make you panic.

The best thing to do during this is ground yourself. Make your body recognize where it is. Name everything that you can see, hear, smell, feel, and even taste. This will not only give you other things to focus on, but will also lessen your anxiety as you recognize familiar sights, sounds, and feelings.

Breathing is also important. Often, an anxiety attack is accompanied by hyperventilating or crying. To calm yourself down, try the 10-to-1 breathing technique. Breathe in for 10 seconds, then breathe out for 10 seconds. Breathe in for 9, breathe out for 9. Do this all the way down to 1. Then go back up to 10. Repeat until you are breathing normally again.

The Feelings Path

A particularly rough thing to deal with is feeling like our emotions are irrational. Sometimes we feel a certain way and can’t figure out why and deem it as something silly. It can make us feel ashamed or guilty or invalid.

But – and this is probably one of the most important things I learned – no emotion is irrational. There is a reason you feel that way. It didn’t just come out of nowhere. Follow your “feelings path.” As cheesy as it sounds, the easiest way to shed that feeling of shame is to trace through the things that led you to feel this way. Keep asking yourself “Why?” Eventually, you’ll understand your feelings and be able to work through them a lot more effectively.

Self-destructive behavior saves your life

I’m going to say upfront that I am not advocating for self-destructive behavior. If you know or suspect that you or someone else is engaging in it, please reach out and get the proper treatment you need.

However, there is no reason to feel guilty about it. You were keeping yourself alive. I am not saying that it is okay. But I realize that sometimes it seems like the only option. Think about the emotions and thoughts that drove you to this type of behavior. If you weren’t binge drinking or cutting, what would you have done instead?

Of course, there are healthy alternatives and effective coping mechanisms, but at the time you weren’t capable of them. That is okay. You are not a bad person because of it. You were just keeping yourself alive the only way you knew how.

I will reiterate: If you know or suspect that you or someone else is engaging in self-destructive behavior, please reach out and get the proper treatment you need.

There’s no such thing as wasting time

Did you watch Netflix all night instead of doing work? Yes, you did. And do you feel like shit about it? Oh yeah. But, you shouldn’t. You did not waste your time or do something wrong. You simply made a different gain. Instead of gaining more time to do work, you gained pleasure and relaxation. They’re both important. You cannot waste your time doing either.

The best type of self-care is the ugly kind

Self-care is incredibly important. However, trendy Instagram posts and hyperlinked lists on Tumblr have turned it into a type of “treat yourself” phenomenon. And while bath bombs and smoothies are great, sometimes self-care will not take on such a colorful hue.

Most of the time, self-care is paying your taxes on time. Setting reminders to take your medication. It’s getting dressed and leaving the house when all you want to do is cry in bed all day. It’s making sure you eat three meals a day. Taking care of yourself isn’t always going to feel like you’re pampering yourself. It’s just what it is – looking after yourself.

Accepting help is brave.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

87191
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

53353
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments