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People shared one thing they learned in therapy and we can all use the collective insights

When my daughter started seeing a therapist for anxiety, I went to several of her sessions. Holy moly. Even though I don't struggle with mental health issues, I got so much out of her sessions just observing and listening. I came to the conclusion that every one of us could benefit from seeing a therapist.

We have regular checkups and basic exams with a regular doctor for our physical health. Doesn't it make sense that we could use a regular checkup for our mental health as well, even if just for maintenance?

I learned about how the brain works and how thoughts and feelings and behaviors play off of one another. I learned about what things we actually have control of and which things we don't. I learned a hundred little things that have helped me process daily living in the increasingly chaotic world we live in. Five stars for therapy. Highly recommend.


Of course, not everyone has easy or affordable access to mental health care (which is a whole other article) so we have to glean what we can, where we can. And thanks to Twitter user @drivingmemadi, we can all glean some therapy insights from a thread she started this summer.

People shared just one thing they learned from therapy, and the collective wisdom is simply awesome. Check out these gems:

We tend to gravitate toward the familiar, even in people we date, which isn't necessarily a good thing if what's familiar to us is unhealthy.

Someone else will always have it worse, but that doesn't mean your pain or trauma isn't real and valid.

Anger usually stems from a different emotion.

Be intentional about joy. (But also recognize there's a difference between general unhappiness and clinical depression.)

A different perspective on perfectionism...

Don't judge your past self so harshly.

Our negative thoughts were a protection mechanism we needed as children, not as adults.

Other people might not handle your self-improvements well if they are stuck in unhealthy patterns themselves.

You can't control what others think of you and shouldn't even try.

Other people's actions and reactions are not usually about you anyway.

Observe intrusive thoughts like a spectator.

Pay attention to how your body is holding your emotions.

Choose to let your trauma make you a better person instead of a worse one.

Name your emotions specifically.

Celebrate your successes.

You are not a burden to your loved ones.

Work on making your brain a nice place to be.

It's okay to grieve the loss of relationships that weren't good for you.

Boundaries are important, even if people don't like them.

You are responsible for your adult self, no matter what happened in your childhood.

Watch out for thought traps.

You don't have to accept what your brain automatically says. Question it. Challenge unhelpful thoughts.

So many helpful mental and emotional health tips. Highly recommend every human being go to therapy if they are able. We all have things we might need help processing, and the world would be a whole lot better place if everyone dealt with their pain, trauma, worries, etc. in a healthy way.

Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Twitterland.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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