There is a slow movement towards acceptance in discussing openly mental health and personal troubles. But how acceptable does it seem to visit a counselor, though? Potentially, you might have only gone to a counselor – as I did – when you have nowhere else to go and frustratingly to lie around and to feel stuck.
My first hand at counseling was when I was in college. I was utterly filled with emotions of guilt, anxiety, and depression that were dominating me during my first semester. Deep within, I was overwhelmed with insecurity and self-hatred, feeling like someone else. This initial counseling experience was a monotonous event of three weekly sessions offering merely a taste of what might become in the long term. Even with my very little eagerness for the counseling session, my desire for self-discovery was dampened, as my concerns were heard and sincerely taken into consideration for the first time.
After a few years, with some travel experience and a college degree, I wished to have discovered myself and removed my internal demons. However, I feel that I haven’t changed much in terms of my mental health. I reluctantly understood that I possibly had to look within myself to recover, so I went into counseling again, which went on for a year.
At that time, I felt that it was truly an eye-opener to be able to talk freely. My teen years had been difficult at home, and now I could talk safely without being judged. I eventually gradually developed empathy for the younger version of me and a feeling of gratitude for the way I was efficiently coping. Previously, I had been persistently critical of myself. I acknowledged that I had kept mum about my inner troubles and how other people’s opinions became my constant reference point. I now began to listen to myself again.
Until now, I often wonder how and what I would have been if not for counseling. I think I would still be the same self-critical and insecure person, always worried and hesitant about how others would perceive me. Counseling really helped me to relax and foster empathy and kindness. All my negativity hindered me from engraining self-confidence and compassion earlier in my life. I have learned to let go of my past pain and bitterness.
Here are some things I have learned about counseling that helped improve my mindset and, ultimately, my life.
You Learn To Value Yourself.
Perhaps you’ve become clever at pleasing other people. Counseling enabled me to recognize the importance of showing true compassion.
You Will Start To Understand Your Past.
Gradually, your past won’t be painful anymore, and you will embrace how it has influenced what you have become today. There is significant value in comprehending the past and how it has affected your journey through life. Old hurts can heal, and unpleasant experiences can be dealt with.
You Find More Meaning In Your Relationships.
Through regular counseling, you will feel more grateful for the relationships that are vital to you. You might also choose to move a step backward from the unhealthy relationships that you may have had. The therapeutic benefits of counseling provide a practice field for real bonds and relationships.
You Change When You Have Self-Awareness.
Without self-awareness, one can be in total confusion. Developing self-awareness permits you to do a reality check and try to be an observer. You start to find sense in things and situations, subsequently leading to better understanding and clarity.
You Are Capable Of Managing Your Own Thoughts.
Every day, there are apparently about 60,000 thought patterns that come across our minds. With regular counseling, you will soon recognize and manage your thoughts and find potential in honing your mood and mindset in life. Once you start noticing the ‘inside talk’ within your head, you become abruptly more in control of how you think.
You Live In The Present.
If you have depression or anxiety, you may spend time regretting the past or feeling anxious about your future. Counseling helps you learn to be mindful of the things and situations around you – you learn to live in the present. I have felt more serene and connected to the world.
Anxiety Decreases, And You Become Braver.
Perhaps your world was previously daunting and miserable. Through the help of your counselor, who will teach you relaxation and coping strategies, you will slowly be able to overcome the challenges in your life without feeling anxious all the time. Then you can start to make your own safe space and be happy and fulfilled.
You, Will, Know Why Things Didn’t Make Sense.
During the counseling sessions, I was encouraged to recall the things that I did out of depression. I over-ate and even tried to harm myself. Initially, I felt so ashamed, and I didn’t understand why I did them. But after a few months, counseling helped me find sense in what I did. I bravely confronted them, which led me to become braver and stronger than ever.
It Helps You Love Yourself And Others Truly.
When you can be yourself, you begin to feel inner contentment. You slowly permit your counselor to help you by allowing him to intervene with your life and make it better, starting with helping you learn to love yourself and others sincerely. You embrace your imperfectness and love yourself for it. Through this self-love, you will be better at loving others.