Sometimes, life’s hard. Most of the time, it’s the smaller stuff, like our spouse being angry with us for not doing the dishes. Other times, it’s the big things: like the loss of a job.
Whatever’s happening, big or small, we all have to find our way to cope with these losses. Some of you do things you know you probably shouldn’t. For example, you might turn to drinking or drug use to “take the edge off”, to soothe your pain, to feel better and make the hurt go away for at least a little while.
Or you might distract yourself from your hurt or your anxiety through busyness or watching TV.
But if you’e like many of us, you don’t always resolve or work through the anxiety or sadness of your life. And it can start to build up, to become something more than what it once was. Your sadness can build to depression; your anxiety can build into panic attacks.
That’s where therapy can help.
Because the heart of therapy, at least initially, is helping you develop healthy habits for dealing with the hardships of everyday life, and getting healthy habits for taking care of your own feelings.
One way to think of this is to ask the question: what’s a healthy way to deal with my anxiety? or to deal with my sadness? In therapy, you learn how to stay with your feelings, to bring care and compassion to them, and find relief from feelings that may have been building up for years.
That’s one of the real gifts of therapy: learning how to deal with life’s struggles, and the feelings these create, in ways that allow you to move through the hurt and move forward.