Since we were children, most of us have inadvertently lived under the principle of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. We all want to have meaningful relationships, loving families, financial stability, time for leisure, and more peace. But sometimes, there is a profound gap between our dreams and expectations and reality.
The pandemic and the current crisis in Eastern Europe are potent examples of how our lives can change in the blink of an eye. But, unfortunately, we do not have as much control as we would like to plan all the aspects of our life. Nor can we foresee the impact that other’s people’s choices will have on our own life circumstances.
What are we left with if we cannot control our future, environment, or others? We have the power to manage our thoughts, behaviours, decisions, choices, and feelings regarding anything outside of us.
The question is not whether it is possible to live without suffering. Suffering is part of life. Instead, the question is, how are you going to deal with your life’s emotional pain or suffering? Fortunately, we now count on a valuable resource that our previous generations did not have: the superpower of therapy!
This post will give you 6 reasons why seeking therapy can be one of the most significant decisions you can make to improve your everyday life.
6 Reasons to See a Therapist
You Live Your Life with Anxiety
Do you find yourself constantly ruminating about the past or future? Anxiety is one of those emotions that activates your whole body’s alarm system to the point that you may feel more drained, exhausted, and reactive all the time.
Suppose you ever have experienced an anxiety attack or something similar. In that case, you may be well aware that your heart may pump so fast that you feel you will have a heart attack. There may be a thousand triggers to anxiety. Still, the underlying cause is straightforward: we fear what we cannot control.
So, we let our minds wildly work on creating potential scenarios about the uncertain future. Our brains may quickly draw assumptions based on our own negative past experiences or incidents that have happened to others.
Anxiety is a feeling that prevents us from living in the present. Sometimes, we are so caught up in our thought process that we cannot follow up with family conversations or work meetings. An anxious mind also prevents us from finding joy in positive moments. While our bodies are present in the moment, our minds may be wandering somewhere else.
Therapy can be a great ally in helping you manage your anxiety. It may help you reframe your thinking process, increase your mindfulness, and learn to better cope with things and situations outside of your control.
You Find Your Life Too Stressful
Stress is part of life. When there are little to zero stressors, we may feel our lives are too routinary and boring. However, when stress increases too much, we may enter into the danger zone of starting to experience stress-related symptoms. These symptoms can be psychological (i.e., irritability, intrusive thoughts, mood swings) or physical (i.e., sleeping problems, headaches, muscle tension, weakened immune system).
Like anxiety and depression, stress is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions in Western societies. We try to do too many things in too little time, and we neglect our well-being in the process.
The Canadian Mental Health Association recently posted a questionnaire called “What’s Your Stress Index?”. After reading this post, please go ahead and check whether your current stress level is impacting your life. Engaging in self-care practices and receiving help can significantly improve your mental wellness if you find yourself with a moderate to a high score.
Your Actions and Words Affect Those Around You
Are you struggling to maintain long-term friendships or romantic relationships? Do you find yourself blowing up quickly at home?
Unfortunately, there are times when we may be too caught up in ourselves and our problems to the point of ignoring the emotional needs of those who surround us. Yes, our problems are real and challenging! But when we become too self-absorbed in a problematic situation and expect unconditional understanding from others, our relationships may start to fall apart.
Relationships are based on mutual understanding and empathy. When we expect to receive more than what we give, our interactions will likely generate conflict. Take a moment to think about how you communicate with your partner, children, close friends, or extended family members? Are you constantly seeking to blame others, criticize them, or complain about everything they do to you? Or do you take the time to express your gratitude, listen to your loved one’s needs, or talk to them with a calm tone of voice?
How we communicate with others has an enormous impact on how people interact with us. For example, when we constantly yell, complain, or criticize our loved ones, it is improbable that they will respond with compassion, empathy, or love.
One of the goals of therapy sessions is to help people improve their communication style, as this is essential to maintain healthy relationships. Most of the time, once we start to talk with more assertiveness, appreciation, and gratitude, our interactions will change for good.
You Experience a Significant Life Event
One of the silent results of the pandemic has been an increasing number of people experiencing mental health challenges. Perhaps you experience the death of a loved one without being able to be there in their last moments. Maybe you lost your job, and it has been challenging for you to get to the end of each month. Or perhaps you have not been able to visit family members living on the other side of the world. However, many people have enough resilience and coping skills to manage daily stressors.
However, there are times when life hits us in dramatic ways without any warning. We find that we do not have enough mental or emotional tools to deal with the significant life event that came to us in those moments.
How do you overcome grief? How do you deal with separation anxiety after migrating to another country? How do you cope with a challenging health diagnosis? Researchers have demonstrated that having a solid social support system is one of the most significant protective factors to prevent mental health issues during adverse situations.
Social support systems include people from your close circles or mental health professionals who may help you navigate adversities with compassion and a non-judgmental attitude.
You Have Been Diagnosed With A Mental Illness
First of all, we want to let you know that you are not alone if you have received a mental health diagnosis! According to the Canadian Mental Health Association:
“In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness. [And] Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.”
Mental illnesses are often triggered by genetic, environmental, health factors, or substance abuse. The most common types of mental illness present in our societies are:
- Anxiety disorder.
- Major depressive disorder.
- Post-traumatic disorder.
- Autism spectrum disorder.
- Substance use disorders.
- Attention-deficit disorder.
- Bipolar disorder.
Let’s say that you or a loved one has received a mental health diagnosis. You may be wondering, “now what? Do I have to live with this condition for the rest of my life?” Some people believe that a mental health diagnosis means a lifelong impairment. This is not true! You are not your diagnosis!
In fact, most people with serious mental health problems can live meaningful lives, establish long-lasting relationships, and achieve their dreams and goals. The key is to find the right therapist who can design a type of therapy that fits your needs and engage in the recovery process. Perhaps, the first time you go to a therapy session, you will not perceive significant change.
With the aid of professional support, patience, and hard work, you will use new skills to manage your emotional issues and concerns.
You Are Struggling with Your Marriage or Relationship
There was a time when you thought you had found the right person to live with for the rest of your life. Sadly, now things may be going down the road, and you do not know how to prevent your relationship from crashing. Many factors can get in the way of marriage or a long-term relationship: routines, work schedules, financial difficulties, health conditions, changes in gender roles, parenting expectations, etc.
None of us is born with a manual on navigating any of these trials. When your partner’s approach is different from yours, you may find yourself having to battle on two fronts: dealing with adverse circumstances and managing relationship issues.
Sometimes, you and your partner may be able to talk through a problem and move on. However, there may be times when issues may start to pile up until they explode. In those moments, communication may become problematic. As a result, you may feel drained around your partner. Even your intimate and sexual life can be affected.
So, when would be the right moment to look for professional help? The good news is that any time is a great moment! In fact, the sooner you seek help, the better. Often, having a third perspective is a great resource to help see difficult things more clearly.
For example, a therapist may help you assess the underlying problems in your relationships and how each person contributes to the problem. In addition, by becoming aware of the root causes of your relationship issues, you may feel more enlightened about the following steps to take in your relationship.
Note: most couples experience issues that can be worked through in individual or couple’s therapy. However, if you are experiencing sexual, physical, or psychological abuse, please seek immediate help by calling 9-1-1! Neither you nor your children deserve to live under domestic violence!
You Feel Like you Need a Little Extra Help.
It may be hard to find a person to entrust our problems and receive undivided attention in today’s world. Most people’s lives are pretty busy. Sometimes, despite the good intention of your family or trusted family, they may not know how to help you address a specific problem.
Or maybe you are going through a challenging experience that no one around has ever lived. So, finding a person to whom you can talk without being judged or criticized may be difficult.
Many people join therapy sessions or support groups to find that little extra support they cannot find in their close circles. There may be various reasons that may lead you to seek professional help.
We want to let you know that all of those reasons are valid! Sometimes, we simply wish to have an outside pair of ears and eyes. If that is your case, that is okay! Your therapist will maintain confidentiality and respect your own process.
What Are the Benefits of Therapy?
If you are still wondering how therapy may be beneficial to you. Here are some skills and valuable tools you may gain throughout therapy sessions:
Learn new coping skills to manage anxiety, stress, or depression symptoms.
Find healing for past traumatic experiences.
Enhance your communication style.
- Increase your level of self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Learn to set goals in different aspects of your life (i.e., personal goals, professional goals, health goals).
- Regain life’s meaning during moments of depression
- Find hope after losing a loved one
- Learn to create healthy boundaries in your interpersonal relationships
- Improve your problem-solving skills.
- Find healing after enduring an abusive relationship.
- Manage the emotional distress associated with migration experiences.
- Work on self-acceptance and how to navigate social discrimination.
- Increase your tolerance and adaptability to life’s changes.
These are just some examples of significant problems you can work on with the help of a therapist. However, this list is not exhaustive. Every person is different, and your therapist will acknowledge that. During your first session, make sure to let your therapist know what issue brings you to seek help. Also, feel free to ask any question about how it will be the therapeutic process.
Finding the Right Therapist…
At Well Beings Counselling, we are committed to continually improving the care of your mental health. We count on a diverse team of licensed therapists specializing in different types of therapy, including cognitive therapy, trauma-focused approaches, mindfulness, parenting, and many more.
Whatever issue you may be experiencing right now, we will connect with a therapist with advanced training in that area.
That person not only will offer you her experience and support but will be with you during every step of your healing journey. So, whenever you feel ready, please schedule a free consultation with us and let us know how to serve you in this stage of your life.
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