Today, the conversation about mental health is still something many consider taboo. When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on our physical health. We have to see the whole person and utilize both our mind and body in order to reach our full potential on a daily basis. I’ve been going to therapy for almost eight months now, and I’ve seen my perspective on life change drastically and I know that I have improved my quality of life.
Therapy is just like going to a physician.
Prior to my sessions, I was apprehensive about being vulnerable and talking to a medical professional about my life. But think about it this way: if you dislocate your shoulder, you go to the doctor to set it. If you get an allergic reaction, you need your EpiPen to relieve yourself from the reaction. So when your mind is being plagued with thoughts, or if you need help breaking bad habits, know that there is a medical professional to help mend your mental frustrations. Going to therapy is just as reasonable as going to the doctor for a check-up.
Know that you can improve.
My social worker brought it to my attention that I said “can’t” a lot when referring to my skills. I’d say that: I can’t engineer, I can’t model, I can’t texture, I can’t do anything. She told me to change the words that I use and say, “I can improve.” There’s so much in life to learn you just have to be willing. There is no black and white, and it’s rare for something to be perfect. Working past this alleviates unnecessary over-thinking and disappointment, and it leaves room for more mistakes and anything that life throws at you.
Only you can make yourself happy.
For the longest time, I felt like I needed someone else to make me feel like I belonged. I would walk around feeling empty inside, and would insert myself in situations in order to get validation. This is dangerous, because you might let unhealthy people and opinions enter your life, just to belong. I found that I would give people that have hurt me the benefit of the doubt in hopes that they would shower me with love, understanding, and compassion. Here’s the thing: you can’t depend on other people to make you happy. Give yourself the praise that you need. Self-compassion is powerful, and you’d be surprised how much this can help you.
Change takes work and time.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard to unlearn the behaviors and mindsets that have been ingrained in our brains. It’s a long process that varies from person to person. Personally, I feel like I’m at the point where I don’t need to see my therapist on a weekly basis, so I have changed my sessions to bi-weekly. The process involved daily repetition of mantras and occasional journal entries. While in therapy, you will need to have the mentality to understand the problem and work towards a solution.
Therapy takes time, and you need to be willing to make the changes in your life for better mental stability. As a young adult, it’s extremely liberating to know that you alone have control over the hurt that enters and affects your life. Of course, there will be uncontrollable things that can hurt us, and there will be burdens that are heavier than others, but alleviating smaller problems can help you deal with the bigger problems.
To learn about how to access the mental health resources at Cogswell College, please contact Dean of Students Brittany Bogle at firstname.lastname@example.org.