When writer Caroline Moss asked her followers to share the best thing they learned from therapy, people were keen to share their experiences.
As the conversation surrounding our mental health continues to grow and develop, more and more of us are seeking the help of therapists, without the shame and stigma that was once attached to the process.
Now, it’s OK to acknowledge how powerful therapy can be: whether your therapist is helping you to challenge your negative automatic thoughts with CBT therapy or work through a problem you’re experiencing with a dedicated counsellor, therapy can help you to better understand your mind and evaluate your actions. For a lot of people who have gone through therapy (me included) it’s an immensely powerful and transformative experience.
So, when writer Caroline Moss asked people on Twitter to share the best things they learnt during their time in therapy, it’s no surprise that thousands of people were willing to share their experiences – and the results definitely provide some substantial food for thought.
From the secret to happiness to the power of saying no, here’s some of the best lessons people decided to share.
1. Avoid saying “should” – it adds unnecessary pressure
“Avoid saying ‘should’,” advised one response. “It’s too easy to fall into pressuring yourself and pushing yourself too much. Reframe and rephrase.
“‘I should exercise’ to ‘I like how I feel after exercise’, and ‘I should do laundry’ to ‘I want clean clothes’.”
2. Focus on the positive
“If you can imagine the worst thing, you can imagine the best thing,” someone else responded. “Both things are imaginary. Say out loud verbally the positive outcome, repeat until it feels more real.”
3. Acknowledge all your emotions
“If you don’t acknowledge an emotion you can’t get past it. Even negative ones, like envy,” one post read.
4. Knowing how to say “no” is important
This one is technically two, but we’ll let Carlos off – these are two stellar points.
“Saying ‘no’ can be an act of love,” Maza wrote, adding: “Shame is an obstacle to growth.”
5. Try not to focus on what other people think
“When meeting new people, don’t think about it as trying to get them to like you – think about it as trying to see if you like them and if you get along with them,” read one reply. “Rather than focusing on what they must be thinking about you, focus on what you think about them. Changed my life.”
6. It’s OK to schedule ‘me’ time
“It’s OK to not be busy and to not offer to others a reason I do or don’t do each thing,” added Cindy Gross.