How Talk Therapy Can Change Your Outlook On Life

Being open to something as life-changing as therapy is a huge step. Some people are closed off to the idea of therapy because they believe they'll solve all their problems on their own. Some people think therapy is reserved for folks who have serious mental health issues. At the end of the day, therapy can be incredibly helpful to anyone who decides to pursue it. The misconceptions surrounding therapy are wildly abundant, but it's time to clear all of those up. 


Using an hour of your time each week to work on self-improvement is hugely beneficial no matter where you currently are in life. If you feel like you need to meet up with a therapist more frequently than once a week, you have the freedom to do that. If you feel like your time would be better served meeting with a therapist once a month or less, that is also possible. These are some of the wonderful (and at times intense) ways talk therapy can change your outlook on life.

Gain a solid understanding of your emotions

One of the ways talk therapy can improve your life is by helping you gain a solid understanding of your emotions. Every human being faces a wide range of emotions from birth until death. We feel things from the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment we fall asleep at night. In fact, sometimes we even feel things while we're sleeping depending on how vivid our dreams are. 


When you start going to talk therapy, you learn about the role your constant emotions play in your life. You figure out how to stop judging your own emotions and you start paying attention to what your emotions might actually be trying to tell you. You'll become more informed about how to expand your emotional vocabulary and how to get comfortable sharing your inner thoughts. It's nice having the perfect words in your mental toolbox to describe exactly how you're feeling whenever your different emotions arise.

Pinpoint whatever triggers you might have

Going to talk therapy can help you start to pinpoint your emotional triggers. Emotional triggers are anything that spark intense negative emotions inside you in abrupt and sudden manners. Sometimes when you get triggered, it feels like it came out of nowhere. Ridgeview Hospital notes that whenever you're triggered, it can manifest into physical symptoms including a rapid heart rate, nausea, shaking, chest pain, dizziness, sadness, anger, and anxiety. 


There are way too many people living their lives without any knowledge of where their triggers come from. When you start going to talk therapy, you have the chance to identify where your triggers stem from. Your therapist will encourage you to break down the responses you have, retrace your steps, and repeat the cycle as many times as needed until you have your answers. Once you know what the culprit is behind your triggered emotions, you can start working on the healing process.

Manage pain after the death of a loved one

Managing your pain after the death of a loved one isn't an easy task. Going through the seven stages of grief can feel beyond overwhelming to anyone. The seven stages include shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and processing. You do not have to work your way through these steps by yourself if you're seeing a therapist who can help you along your path. Going to talk therapy may potentially give you the strength to attend memorial services or funerals that you're feeling too challenged by. 


Talk therapy will encourage you to preserve your memories of the person who passed away instead of trying to suppress them. You'll have a chance to talk about some of your favorite moments with your loved one from before they died. People in your life who've never dealt with the death of a loved one might not be able to understand where you're coming from or relate to you. Going to talk therapy allows you the chance to discuss your mourning process with someone who is trained in how to console you.

Manage heartbreak after a breakup

Managing your heartbreak after the end of a romantic relationship can often feel like an isolating and lonely experience. Whether you're going through a breakup or divorce, the notion of starting over with someone brand new can be daunting and overwhelming. Before you're ready to put yourself back out there to meet someone new, there might be some unresolved pain and trauma to work through first. 


The benefits of going to talk therapy include the opportunity for you to discuss what went wrong in your last relationship so you don't take any of that negative energy into your future romances. The tricky part about dealing with heartache is that you may not feel comfortable continually bringing up the subject to friends and family members after a several months have passed by. They might be tired of hearing you rehash the details, but healing isn't linear. Having a therapist to talk to about your breakup won't make you feel uncomfortable if you're still experiencing unresolved emotions about your ex-relationship beyond the split.

Manage disappointment after career setbacks

Career setbacks can be disheartening depending on where you are in the workforce. Some common career setbacks include getting demoted, receiving a pay cut, or being forced to work under a superior who makes you feel inadequate. Other career setbacks include watching your closest ally at work leave the job for another opportunity or finding out that you won't be receiving a holiday bonus you were expecting. The worst possible career setback is getting fired or laid off. 


You don't have to deal with the agony and stress of your career setbacks on your own if you have a therapist to talk to about these issues. There's a lot of negative energy attached to disappointment. If you're feeling disappointed about what's going on at work, you're undoubtedly dealing with some negative emotions that could be leaving you feeling hopeless, helpless, and frustrated. Your therapist will remind you that you have options while opening up your eyes to different possibilities.

Manage addiction struggles

One of the biggest benefits that can come from talk therapy is that it gives you a chance to manage any addiction struggles you might be facing. Battling addiction isn't an easy feat for anyone who's currently in fear of relapse. There's much more to the equation that goes beyond having a lot of willpower and self-control when getting past an addiction. Once you become addicted to something, it alters your brain chemistry to strike up powerful compulsions and cravings inside you. 


Sobriety might be your ultimate goal, but sometimes that feels totally out of reach to an addict. With the help of a therapist, you'll realize that you're not alone on your journey. Your therapist will help you figure out new ways to deal with stress that don't include relapsing. They'll also help you narrow down which people you should allow in your life. They'll brainstorm a concrete list of activities to fill your free time so you don't fall off the wagon.

Manage eating disorder issues

When you start seeking out care for a particular eating disorder, therapists will take different approaches based on the specific disorder you're struggling with. When managing eating disorder struggles, it's important to know that your care team will likely be filled with an assortment of important individuals. You'll regularly meet with a registered dietitian, a medical specialist, dental specialist, and mental health professional. 


Having a therapist throughout this journey is an absolute must if you genuinely want to heal on a psychological level. Your therapist will create a helpful plan for you that includes identifying resources and working through any potential concerns you might have. They'll do their best to normalize your eating patterns to help you reach a weight that isn't considered harmful or dangerous. They'll go over what you can do to exchange your bad habits for healthy ones while encouraging you to develop problem-solving skills as you improve your relationship with food.

Manage everyday stress

Even if you're not dealing with something as serious as addiction or eating disorders, sometimes talk therapy is exactly what's needed to manage your everyday stress. Tons of people deal with stressful situations in their day to day life without anyone to talk to about it. Instead of feeling like you're completely alone with your daily stressors, having a therapist will give you the opportunity to sort through any frustrations attached to your stress, while coming up with an action plan about how to get more relaxed. 


Some of the most common reasons people get stressed out include an overload of work responsibilities, too many school assignments, or heavy-duty obligations placed on your shoulders by your friends and family members. A lot of these factors are things we can't just run away from. Going to talk therapy will teach you how to live a calm and fulfilling life, despite the daily stress you're dealing with.

Receive potential diagnoses for mental health issues

If you're wondering whether or not you have an undiagnosed mental illness, the easiest way to get some peace of mind is to be observed and analyzed by a professional. According to the Mayo Clinic, the steps required to determine a solid diagnosis include a physical exam, lab tests, and then a psychological evaluation. The physical exam happens first so that your doctor can rule out any physical problems that could potentially be the culprit of your issues. 


Lab tests as a follow-up are just as important to make sure that illegal substances or thyroid function problems are not the reason you aren't feeling mentally healthy. Last, a proper psychological evaluation will give you a chance to open up about your behavior, patterns, inner feelings, and deepest thoughts. The more time you spend with a talk therapist, the easier it will be for them to call out any potential diagnoses for mental health issues.

Overcome anxiety

Plenty of people who are living with anxiety have normalized their anxiousness and started believing that being nervous all the time is simply just a part of their mindset and life. In reality, no one should feel bogged down by anxiety when it feels so much better to have peace of mind about everything. A great talk therapist will go through some major questions with you to break down your anxiety. They'll investigate where it comes from and help you figure out how to overcome it. 


They'll ask you what topics make you most afraid, what makes you feel the most anxious, and what fear and anxiety sensations actually feel like to you. They'll have you question yourself when it comes to why you feel so anxious about things when you aren't in any immediate danger. Talk therapists can help you take note of what's causing the problem, identify those causes, review your lifestyle, and give you guidance on how to be more mindful as you minimize your anxiety.

Beat your depression

When you're in a deep depression, it often feels like nothing can be done to improve your situation. Fortunately, a therapist will do everything in their power to help you beat your depression before it becomes way too consuming. When you're working through depression, it's important to find a sense of purpose in life and celebrate your small accomplishments. It's vital to bump up the frequency of your positive emotions by discussing the good things that are occurring or thinking back on blissful memories from your past. 


It's necessary to identify any defeatist thought patterns and behaviors that are holding you back by making you think like it's impossible to progress in life. Working with a therapist will open your eyes to the importance of rewarding yourself, finding fulfilling activities, cultivating healthy social connections, and going out of your way to add positive moments to your day. Romanticizing the little things in life might not come naturally to you, but your therapist will encourage you to make that happen.

Conquer your intrusive thoughts

If you're convinced that you're the only one dealing with intrusive thoughts, you're totally wrong! Intrusive thoughts are pretty common, despite how uneasy they make most people feel. Intrusive thoughts don't always indicate that something serious is wrong with you. Sometimes intrusive thoughts are prompted by regular everyday stress, hormonal shifts, unresolved trauma, or anxiety. Other times, intrusive thoughts pop up due to obsessive compulsive disorder or other mental issues. Getting connected with a therapist will aid you in managing your intrusive thoughts by helping you address the underlying issue or trigger. 


Therapists will encourage you to identify the exact thoughts you consider to be intrusive, refrain from fighting with yourself to make the thoughts go away, and learn to accept them as they come. Sometimes the more you try to fight back against intrusive thoughts, the more powerful they seem to get. Your therapist should also remind you not to judge yourself over any randomly disturbing and uncomfortable thoughts popping up in your head. 

Build your self-esteem

Struggling with your self-esteem does not make you an inferior or weak individual. All it means is that you might need a little assistance in building yourself up in the confidence department. A therapist can come in handy in an area as serious as raising your self-esteem because therapists are professionally trained to give insightful advice and guidance. 


Your therapist will encourage you to be kinder to yourself, start recognizing the positive things you like about yourself, and to start building a support network of trusted friends and family members. The reason for your low self-esteem might be the fact that no one was ever there to build you up throughout the course of your childhood. If you grew up to be an adult who never felt like you were good enough, it's up to you to turn those thoughts around by developing a higher sense of self-worth and self appreciation. A therapist will help make that feel realistic and possible.

Process traumatic experiences from the past

Going through something traumatic in your childhood doesn't have to weigh you down for the rest of your life. Adults who are living with unresolved trauma often sabotage the happiest moments in their lives. An example of this is a person struggling with unresolved trauma, subconsciously sabotaging every romantic relationship they enter. Instead of allowing this to be your story, you can process your traumatic experiences from the past with the help of a therapist who has your best interest at heart. 


It's never fun or enjoyable to hash out the details of terrible things you've been through in the past. At the end of the day, though, getting these things off your chest and understanding that any trauma you went through wasn't your fault is absolutely necessary to the healing process. The sooner you're able to open up to a therapist about your past trauma, the sooner you'll be able to fully recover from whatever was done.

Break unhealthy habits

Dealing with unhealthy habits doesn't necessarily mean you're battling a full-on addiction. Some unhealthy habits are as minimal and simple as biting your nails, twirling your hair, binge-watching reality TV, obsessing over social media, or pulling out your credit card to spend money any time you're feeling sad. If you're struggling with a bad habit that isn't going to completely destroy your health, well-being, or life, it still shouldn't be neglected or thought of as unimportant. 


If a bad habit is indulged way too often, it can blow up in a scary way. Seeking help from a therapist to talk through whatever your bad habits are will help you figure out a game plan for breaking free of whatever those bad habits might be. Feeling bogged down by bad habits isn't a great feeling for anyone. Fortunately, there are ways for you to stop any bad habits that have you in a chokehold right now, starting with receiving help from a therapist. 

Heal your inner child

There are a handful of steps to take if you're in the process of healing your inner child. When thinking of your inner child, consider the symbolism of your youthful dreams and beliefs. During your childhood years, you're supposed to experience the most carefree, light, and enjoyable moments ever before you're bogged down by serious responsibilities, bills, medical concerns, and more. If your childhood was interrupted by unfortunate and unexpected trauma, it makes sense that you'd be on a mission to heal your inner child as an adult. 


One of the interruptions that can potentially mess with one's childhood is dealing with familial financial struggles that led to eviction and possible homelessness. Another example would be falling ill as a youngster, or seeing a loved one get really sick before the age of true understanding. Abuse in any form from sexual to emotional is another heartbreaking example. Regardless of what happened to you as a child, healing your inner child as an adult is one of the most sure-fire ways to strengthen your future relationships. This is something professional therapists can help you achieve.

Have a safe place to vent

The good news about having friends, family members, and significant others to vent to is that you feel like you can open up to someone who's already close to you. The bad news about this exact scenario is that the people you vent to might not always maintain flawless confidentiality by keeping all of your secrets. If you've been through a messed up situation in the past where are you opened up to someone close to you about something super personal, you probably had expectations that they would keep everything under wraps. 


If they spread the word about whatever you said, it might've impacted your ability to easily trust people in your life. When you spend time talking to a therapist about what's on your mind, you know that they are the safest possible place to go for venting. Their confidentiality policies make it impossible for them to repeat things you share unless you disclose plans to hurt yourself or someone else.

Understand the power of forgiveness

The willingness to forgive other people for their wrongdoings is an incredibly difficult and powerful concept. Human beings are prone to making mistakes and messing up on things every once in a while. It's up to you whether or not you want to forgive people who have done you wrong. At the end of the day, refusing to forgive someone else hurts you more than it hurts them since you're the one with negative feelings festering inside you. 


Being able to forgive yourself for mistakes you've made throughout the course of your life is another super challenging thing for some people to wrap their heads around. It's sometimes easier to feel guilty and ashamed about bad things you've done instead of giving yourself grace and leaving the past in the past. Working with a therapist will help you figure out how to forgive other people while also learning how to forgive yourself.

Learn how to trust your intuition

Learning how to trust your intuition requires a bit of attention and time. Your intuition is that hard-hitting feeling you get in the pit of your stomach whenever you're about to make a major decision in life. One example of listening to your intuition is by avoiding a route that will lead you down a dark hallway if you feel something tugging at your soul and urging you to go in a different direction. 


Some people ignore their intuition because they feel like it's just simple anxiety or nerves getting the best of them. Others listen to their intuition and realize later on that they ended up saving their own life. Whenever your subconscious mind tries to communicate with your conscious mind, your intuition is shining through. It's your job not to ignore those intuitive thoughts when they start popping up. Deciphering between intuition and plain anxiety is easier to do with the help of a therapist.

Grasp the importance of prioritizing yourself

Have you been putting yourself on the back burner when it comes to all of your priorities? If so, it's time to start putting yourself in first place and prioritizing your happiness and peace of mind above everything else. When you take care of yourself from the inside out, it makes it easier for you to take care of everything else. The phrase, "You can't pour from an empty cup" is beyond accurate when it comes to this subject. 


If your cup has been emptied out by trying to water everyone else's gardens, there will be nothing left in your cup for yourself to absorb. Prioritizing yourself means focusing on your own goals, utilizing your energy for your own passions, and getting clear on what your aspirations really look like for the future. It might sound like a selfish thing to do, but prioritizing yourself isn't selfish at all. These are concepts a great therapist will help you grasp.

Practice sustainable productivity

Struggling with something like procrastination might have you believing that you're lazy or inadequate. In reality, procrastination often stems from being way too stressed and getting overwhelmed. When you have too many things on your checklist to handle, you might feel tempted to curl up in a ball, ignore your obligations, and hope your tasks will simply disappear. Working with a therapist will help you come up with coping strategies whenever you feel like slinking away into procrastination instead of getting your responsibilities squared away. 


Instead of coming up with unrealistic plans that will eventually make you feel like a failure, your therapist will help you practice sustainable productivity. Sustainable productivity is a more realistic way to approach all of the things you have to do. You won't feel pressured to get 30 things done in one day because you know setting unrealistic goals will ultimately leave you feeling like a failure. Instead, you'll understand that it's better to get two or three things done in one day, as long as those things are handled with the most quality care you can muster.

Feel supported and encouraged

You might have several friends, family members, or even a significant other who is totally there for you whenever you're in need. None of these people are professionally trained when it comes to helping you through some of life's most serious problems, though. Regularly seeing a therapist gives you the opportunity to feel supported and encouraged, regardless of what's going on in your life. 


This is especially wonderful if you're going through a period of time when the people you usually rely on to answer all your phone calls seem to be busy with their own personal things going on. There's no reason to feel exasperated or alone if everyone in your life has gotten busy for a short patch of time. Instead, it's better to understand that your therapist will always be there for you to support and encourage you regardless of how busy everyone else might get.

Learn mature communication skills

Until you really learn the breakdown of what healthy and mature communication skills look like, you might not be fully aware of where you fall on the scale. If your go-to defense mechanism is to shut down and give the silent treatment to people who have hurt you, odds are you don't have the strongest communication skills. If you passively agree with whatever someone is saying to your face, to suddenly turn around and vent about their actions to someone else who isn't related to the situation, odds are your communication skills simply aren't where they need to be. 


Working closely with a therapist will help you improve in this area. Having mature and healthy communication skills will help you succeed in life beyond personal relationships because great communication is an extremely valuable skill to have in professional settings as well. Therapists can guide you in how to speak your mind respectfully and honestly in all situations that arise. 

Figure out your personal boundaries

What do your personal boundaries look like? For some people, coming up with concrete personal boundaries isn't a walk in the park. If you have a significant other, best friend, or a family member who feels entitled to your time, space, affection, money, or anything else, it might not be easy for you to say "no" to them whenever they make requests. If you feel indebted to someone or guilty about not doing favors for people based on a blood relation or the amount of years they've been in your life, the other person still shouldn't feel like they have control over you. A huge positive of having a therapist on your side is that they'll remind you that your boundaries are more important than anyone else's comfort. They'll help you feel confident enough to say "no" boldly and bravely to people who are asking you to do things out of your comfort zone.


Allow yourself to benefit from self-care

The importance of self-care should never be ignored or neglected. Since self-care is so pivotal to living a fulfilling life, it also shouldn't be minimized. Self-care is a big deal if you're the type of person who appreciates self improvement, mindfulness, and growth. Self-care as a whole comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn't have to be booking a massage appointment or taking a day off of work. 


Self-care can also look like scheduling a session with a professional therapist who you can talk through your issues with. Even if you can't think of any serious problems to work through at this very moment, meeting regularly with a therapist anyway is a sure-fire way to show yourself a ton of self-care. The same way you show up for yourself whenever you hit the gym or choose to eat healthier food, you shower yourself in self-care by showing up for yourself at therapy sessions.