As someone with anxiety, I’m no stranger to therapy. I’ve had some great (and not-so-great, let’s be honest) therapy experiences in my life, but I’m stunned by the common misconception that therapy is only for people who, well, need a therapist. However, I truly believe therapy is for everyone — especially if you want to be successful and build the life of your dreams.
Whether you have a specific ‘problem’ or not, here’s why everyone should go to a therapist from time to time.
1. Therapy promotes overall wellness.
When it comes to therapy, we often think about it like a treatment for illness. And, while one in four people deals with some form of mental illness, the benefits of therapy go way beyond treating existing issues.
Think of therapy like taking your car in for a tune-up. Sure, you could wait for your car to break down before you take it into the shop, but regular ongoing maintenance can help you avoid those costly breakdowns entirely.
2. Therapy makes dealing with life easier.
Let’s be real. Everyone has problems (if you don’t have any problems, you can have some of mine.) Whether it’s smaller life stresses, work issues, or relationship drama — speaking with a therapist can help you identify and solve problems you might not even recognize otherwise.
Plus, regular therapy can make dealing with any issues that pop up *way* easier. Instead of needing to find a therapist you know and trust when you’re struggling, ongoing therapy means you’re always prepare for life’s inevitable moments when therapy is a necessity.
3. Therapy teaches valuable #adulting skills.
I’ve learned so many things in therapy, mostly about myself, but also about how to deal with stress, anxiety, and anything that might pop up. Therapy has made it easier for me to identify the source of any problems that pop up, which is just as valuable as learning how to deal with those problems.
Learning how to handle my problems in a non-destructive way has been an absolute life changer. When I’m stressed, I don’t automatically grab a glass of wine (or shut down completely) — instead, I take a few seconds to figure out what is happening and how I can respond to it.
Sure, it might still involve a glass of wine, but more often than not I’m realizing that alcohol often makes me more stressed and bummed out. (It is, after all, a depressant.) From there, I can make a judgement call — is an evening of drinking worth the 3-4 days that I’m going to feel a little more depressed than normal? Sometimes the answer is yes. I’m human. But sometimes the answer is “Actually, no.”
4. Therapy makes the world a little bit better.
Let’s be real — when we know how to handle our emotions in a healthy and productive manner, we know how to respond to *other* people better. This means our relationships with our families, friends, and co-workers all have space to improve.
Life is tough, and sometimes things don’t go our way. All of that stress and negative energy builds up. And, while you absolutely don’t have to be happy and super positive 24/7 (I’m definitely not), it can be incredibly valuable to know how to handle negative emotions, how to respond to conflict, and how to keep yourself, well, sane.
5. Therapy is the ultimate form of self-care.
You deserve to feel great about your life. There, I said it. And I’m not taking it back.
We live in a society that is obsessed with “the hustle.” In America, that translates into a population that is over-worked, under-paid, and chronically stressed out. (Plus, most of us don’t even use all of our vacation.)
We act like these things are worth it, that they’re somehow translating into more productivity and more money, but realistically? That’s not the case. In fact, a research suggests that America is getting less productive despite working more hours. Out of the top five most productive countries in the world, America is actually the *least* productive country and we work the *most* hours per week.
This doesn’t mean we need to ditch work for bubble baths and cupcakes, but it does mean that self-care is more important than ever. Science tells us that if we want to get more done, learning how to take care of ourselves — and taking a break — is a really freaking good thing.
For those of us with big dreams, therapy is a fantastic tool that can help us reach our full potential. It might take a little practice, but it’s totally worth it in the end.