As you can probably tell from the title, I am currently receiving therapy for what is a wealth of what my doctor likes to call “emotional wounds”. I know that not everyone believes in therapy, and I was one of those people too – but when you find the right person, they can really crack you open like the messed up egg you are and let all that poisonous yolk out. So in the event that you’re unable to pay for your own special happy-making doctor, I wanted to share with you some of the important lessons that I’ve personally been receiving in my incredibly expensive sessions that can apply to pretty much everyone. I’m thinking of starting a “Therapy Thursdays” since I find this to be pretty helpful stuff, but to start it off here are my first 3 important lessons from therapy:
1. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be
This was a big one for me, and I assume for most people. We create this image in our minds of where we should be at this point in our lives, and when that doesn’t match the life we are actually living, we cause ourselves a lot of suffering. We like to beat ourselves up for not doing things differently, for not accomplishing greater things in our careers, or for not having that perfect relationship we always dreamed of. When you do this, you set yourself up to feel helpless to change your situation, and of course you’re going to feel depressed and unworthy.
The fix: Remind yourself that you are doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing right now. When you stop beating yourself up and consider all of the things you have accomplished, you can start being nicer to yourself and therefore grow the confidence that will bring you everything you want out of life. Your path has gone this direction for a reason, so if you want a different life, remind yourself that you have the power to start making different decisions to get you there.
2. Take responsibility for your own happiness
We all are guilty of this one. I cried to my therapist about how my boyfriend was causing me anxiety, but what was realized is that I was relying on him to do things that would make me happy, and setting us up for failure. We do this at work as well – we get upset when we aren’t congratulated or acknowledged, and we become disgruntled in our jobs. We rely on outside forces to produce a feeling of happiness and self-worth, and that always backfires as soon as those things become absent.
The fix: Remember that only you can be responsible for your own happiness. Obstacles in our personal or professional lives need to be looked at as a way for us to learn about and better ourselves. We need to remove ourselves from situations or relationships that do not make us happy, and focus on the positives in our lives and not the negatives. When you can re-condition yourself to think positive instead of instantly going to all the things that are wrong, you can start making the best of any situation and become a happier person.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
One of the main emotional requirements for humans to be happy is to feel growth and progress in your life. This is probably why people who are in dead-end jobs don’t like going to work, or when a relationship has become stagnant and without passion people become depressed and anxious. We need to constantly feel challenged in our lives to truly feel happy, and many times this means getting out of that comfort zone that makes us feel safe but isn’t really bringing us closer to where we want to be in our lives.
The fix: Raise your standards for yourself. When did you decide that you were going to stay in a dead-end job or relationship? When did you lower your standards for yourself and why? We tend to avoid the discomfort and fear that comes with leaving a safe, certain place for a path of uncertainty and potential failure. What needs to be realized is that everyone grows the most when things are uncertain, and the only difference between fear and excitement is your attitude about it!
Hopefully some of these little tidbits of advice from my sessions resonated with you. As humans we all generally have the same hang-ups and fears that hold us back from reaching our true potential, it’s just a matter of figuring them out and overcoming them. I don’t know if I need to spend this kind of money to figure it out, but I figure it’s an investment in my mental health, which I suppose is pretty important.