Throughout history, most of the attention was focused on our bodies and our physical health. We are taught that making sure we eat right, exercise regularly, and drink enough water is necessary in order to stay healthy. With so much attention on our physical health, we ended up ignoring our internal struggles and our mental health.
In recent years, however, there has been more focus on taking care of our bodies both inside and out. More and more it has been encouraged to make sure that we are feeling okay and can deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with everyday life. Mental health is something we all deal with, but some of us struggle with it more than others.
Those who can’t keep their mental health in check by themselves, often seek out professionals for help. In the last few years, there has been a large cultural shift to go to therapy and keep up with our mental states. But therapy can be an overwhelming process, and it’s not always easy to adjust to it. It can feel unnatural to go to a professional and have them pick your brain for an hour or two.
Know That Your Feelings Are Valid and Normal
A lot of people when they first go to therapy feel nervous, apprehensive, and skeptical about the process. If you are experiencing these feelings, know that most people go through this when they first start therapy (especially if they have never been before). It is completely reasonable to have these concerns because as human beings we possess an innate fear of the unknown.
Just know that you have put yourself in the perfect position to express those fears in a safe space. Therapists expect nerves in newcomers, so it won’t surprise or shock them to hear that you have a few concerns when starting this process. It is important to let your therapist know that you are experiencing either anxiety or skepticism because they are the ones who can help you work through them before you begin to dive deeper into why you came to therapy in the first place.
After your first few sessions, it is not uncommon to start overthinking and overanalyzing both your past and your present self. In most cases, you will end up talking about your past and how that is affecting your life currently. Diving into the past is often not a comfortable thing to do and hearing how and why you are currently struggling due to your past can drive people to overthink about their actions and their situations.
Once again, this is perfectly normal, however, you shouldn’t let yourself spiral over it. People often have revelations and see things in new and clear ways after talking it out with their therapist which drives them to overanalyze their actions. Remember, it isn’t your job to overanalyze things, that’s what your therapist is for.
Try not to dwell on things too much outside of the therapist’s office, you will end up creating a toxic environment for yourself. Remember that you can always express your hardships to your therapist and if you are finding it difficult to adjust to therapy, talk to them about it because if anyone can help, it’s them.
Go With The Flow
In case people don’t know, therapy isn’t magic. You cannot expect to go to therapy and have all your problems magically solved for you, that’s not how it works. It’s important to know that therapy does not work unless you want it to work. You have to allow it to work. There is a due process that comes with therapy, it doesn’t happen overnight.
There will be times when it gets really difficult, times when you hit a wall, and times when it feels like nothing is happening, but if you remember that all of this is just part of the process and continue to be open, allowing therapy to work, you will see results. When people are in an unusual and highly vulnerable situation such as therapy, it’s easy to get frustrated when things aren’t going your way, or how you imagined it.
During these times it’s important to remember to take it step-by-step and one day at a time. Talk to your therapist if you have any frustrations, and let them guide you. It can be a long and taxing road, but your mental health is worth it.
You Are Not Broken
When people go to therapy they sometimes feel shame. This is because some of the cultural connotations of therapy include a person “being a mess” or not being able to take control of their lives so they need a therapist to fix them. A therapist is not there to “fix you” because you are not broken. They will not fix your problems, you fix your problems.
Therapists guide people to find their strengths and ways that they can better themselves and cope with the challenges in their lives, but they can only do that if the patient allows it to happen. Going to therapy does not mean that something inside of you is broken, it just means that you have been struggling and you need help getting back on track.
It’s similar to if you gain a little weight, it doesn’t mean that you are broken, it just means that you haven’t been taking care of yourself as well as you used to, and you just need to get back on track with your diet and exercise. There is never any shame in asking for help, but at the end of the day, you are the one with the power to create change in your life.