Therapy helps us understand our behavior and become our best selves. The lessons learned in therapy often become light bulb moments, enabling us to shift our mindsets and improve our lives.
Here, 14 people share sage advice from their therapists that changed their outlook.
Who is the Problem?
Therapy helps us understand who the real problem is. We often blame ourselves when, in fact, someone else’s toxicity is causing us harm.
“If you don’t have these problems with any other person in your life, why do you think you’re the problematic person in this one?” shared one person, highlighting how their therapist showed them the problems may not be their fault.
If You Keep This Up…
Some folks think everyone else is floating by doing just fine, and they’re the only ones struggling. When the therapist bluntly tells you that other people in your boat suffer “cardiac events,” you realize that you need to give yourself a break.
We can’t control our emotions; they’re natural. But, as one person’s therapist pointed out, we can control how we react to them. We don’t need to hit a wall when angry; we can take deep breaths instead. How you respond to your emotions is 100% in your control.
Liking vs. Acceptance
Grin and bear it, as they say. But you don’t have to grin; you just have to bear it. Some things just are; the sooner we realize we can accept them without liking them, the better.
Responsibility Toward Parents
Toxic parents have their children walking on tiptoes. It takes years of therapy to realize that, as a child, you are in no way responsible for your parent’s emotions and reactions.
A lot of people feel so uncomfortable when others have negative emotions that they’ll do anything to make it stop, often to their own detriment. “Why do you make people more comfortable when you are uncomfortable?” asked one therapist, highlighting the behavior.
On Seeing Agreement
Compromise takes effort, and there’s always that one person who refuses. If you’re too focused on getting an agreement and not on the best solution, the person who refuses to budge holds all the power.
Your Right To Exist
Some people are so insecure they make themselves as small as possible. “Claim the right to your space in the world,” said one therapist, helping someone break free of this mindset and realize they have the right to exist in public like everyone else.
You Did It
Therapists offer more than wisdom; they offer validation. One parent worked tirelessly to end the cycle of abuse perpetrated by their own parents, and when their kids became adults, their therapist congratulated them on ending generational trauma.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
A lot of people seek therapy for relationship advice. One person in a particularly adversarial relationship had a light bulb moment when their therapist told them it shouldn’t be so difficult to decide whether they want to be with someone.
You Are Not Your Job
America’s work culture makes it seem like our professions are crucial to our identity. Though they can be for some people, they don’t have to be. Jobs can just be ways to make money.
Many of us have rose-colored glasses about the world. We think people should behave a certain way and get upset when they don’t. A good therapist can point out where our own high expectations are causing us harm.
You Have To Do The Work
Some people think life is easy. They expect great friends, a good job, and a happy family simply because they exist. It doesn’t work like that. You have to be a good friend to have great friends. You must work hard to find a good job. These things don’t just fall into people’s lap.
A few therapy sessions can help people realize that they’re acting entitled to life’s bounties without putting in the effort to deserve it.
One of the most crucial lessons learned in therapy is that you can’t control other people. You aren’t responsible for their emotions or their actions. You’re only responsible for yourself.
There’s nothing you can do to stop a person from starting drama, but you can remove yourself from the situation and refuse to engage with it.
Learning What Really Matters and Letting the Rest Go
Some things aren’t worth the effort, though unfortunately, sometimes we only learn that as we grow older.
Here are the top things people learn to let go of as they age.
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