There’s a pervasive myth that therapy is for people who are too weak to handle their problems on their own, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, therapy promotes success and boosts emotional and psychological well-being. It’s important not to fear or deride therapy, but to embrace it, and here are a few reasons why you should:
Therapy has long-term benefits
The benefits of therapy are long-lasting, and you’ll develop coping mechanisms that can help you for the rest of your life. The process of talking with your therapist becomes internalized, and as a result, you learn to consciously talk yourself through your problems. This process helps you get to the root of your problems and deal with them before they reoccur.
In addition to solving problems on your own, you’ll be able to effectively talk through problems with the people around you. For example, if you’re angry at your significant other for not doing the dishes, you’re probably going to feel more resentful about it over time. Therapy helps you deal with these emotions in a healthy, productive way. You’ll better understand how to resolve conflicts through talking instead of arguing, and you’ll be less apt to allow your resentments to fester.
Treatment of physical symptoms
Many people don’t realize that their depression, anxiety, or psychological trauma can be a leading cause of physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and sleep problems. When you use therapy to treat psychological issues, it also reduces accompanying physical symptoms. Similarly, expressing your feelings is shown to reduce stress as well as produce therapeutic effects in the brain.
Gaining a new perspective
It might sound cheesy, but therapy gives you a new, more positive perspective on life. You’ll realize the importance of expressing yourself to others when you’re struggling and learn about ways to move forward. Your therapist holds you accountable for achieving your goals, which brings confidence, peace of mind, and more meaning to your life. This is especially helpful for those struggling with depressive thoughts, as therapy can remind you that your life has a purpose.
Research shows that social support helps reduce stress. Share your goals and aspirations with others outside of therapy to further encourage yourself. If possible, join a community that is working toward a similar goal (such as weight loss, as an example) for optimal support.
Time to focus on yourself each week
Let’s say you’re going to therapy once a week for an hour. This hour is the ideal time to de-stress, relax, and focus completely on bettering yourself. If you’re typically overwhelmed by work or school, you can use this time to explore your current feelings and thoughts, or use the time to focus on the larger, more complex aspects of your life. Your therapist will help you reduce stress by encouraging this exploration and helping you dive into your deeper self, and they’ll help you to develop coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of everyday life.
Practicing conflict resolution
If you see yourself as passive or a listener, you’ll get the chance to practice being appropriately assertive in therapy. Your therapist can help you practice healthy confrontation and a variety of other interpersonally useful strategies. If you’re afraid to express your feelings or cry in front of someone, this is the perfect opportunity to try. You’re also allowed to ask anything you want during therapy. This helps you gain a better understanding of how people view you, or better grasp your reactions and thoughts in a given situation.
Although therapy may seem intimidating, the benefits are virtually infinite. You’ll become better at expressing yourself and handling stress throughout everyday life. Therapy will give you a protected, safe, and private space to heal. If you’re interested in trying out therapy, consider asking friends or family for recommendations, or typing “therapy near me” into your search bar for local results. Remember to find a therapist who you’re comfortable opening up to, so you can maximize the potential benefits.