Over 40 million Americans live with some sort of mental health condition. The number keeps growing, especially among younger generations but not everyone has access to care and will seek treatment.

Dealing with chronic stress and struggling with mental health issues on top only makes matters worse. Going to therapy is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for living a happier, more balanced life.

Therapy is one of the best things you can do for yourself both mentally and physically. Yet there’s a stigma around mental health that prevents many people from getting professional help. 

The right type of therapy (and the right therapist) can completely change your outlook on life and get you out of old patterns that don’t serve you well.

Read on to discover 8 reasons why you should start therapy today and release your negative emotions, traumas, and suppressed anger.

1. To Understand Yourself and Your Actions

Most of your habits and behaviors are run by your subconscious mind. They’re so automated that most people aren’t aware of them happening. Your subconscious stores information dating back to your childhood.

Everything you were told, taught, experienced, struggled with and received as a message is now ruling your adult life. Therapy will help you understand these mechanisms, and peel off the layers to help you get to your most authentic self.

In the process of getting to know yourself, you’ll learn to understand other people as well. Most importantly, you’ll learn not to take their actions and behavior personally.

2. To Break Down Old Patterns

Learning how to behave and what is acceptable starts in early childhood. Some patterns serve us well, while others don’t. If left untreated, they can turn into conditions like anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and a whole other range of mental health issues.

For instance, if you suffer from anxiety and want to get help, yet you keep wondering “what is going to therapy like?”, that’s your brain stressing out about future events.

Going to therapy for anxiety will be the best thing you can do for yourself. You’ll learn how to manage your condition and start living a happier, worry-free life.

3. To Improve Your Self-Confidence

Almost everyone you know has struggled with self-esteem issues at some point. They start in childhood and creep their way to adulthood. Low self-confidence can become an obstacle to performing well at school, in social situations, or at the workplace.

Therapy can help you see your abilities and virtues in a new light. It’ll help you appreciate them more and start using them to make your dreams come true. Best of all, it’ll help you love yourself more and be your own best friend.

4. To Improve Your Self-Image

Self-image is the mental image you have about your own appearance and your own opinion about the way you look.

When a person’s self-image gets distorted, it turns into body image issues in the form of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. This can also go the other way around. Eating too much junk food and leading an unhealthy lifestyle is the opposite side of the negative body image spectrum.

In such severe cases, therapy is necessary in order to treat the illness and help the patient return to healthy eating habits.

A negative self-image can also include distorted opinions on your own physical appearance, beauty, skin color, and hair color. In some cases, it’s also related to one’s intellectual and academic abilities.

5. To Feel Happier

We all one the same thing in life – to be happy. Everything we do and create is because we aim for a feeling of joy, contentment and balance. However, life isn’t always perfect and negative situations happen. But when we allow for the negative to take over the positive and rule our lives, it might be time to schedule a therapy appointment.

With regular therapy sessions, you’ll learn the tools and techniques you need to tap into that happiness anytime. Nobody can be happy 100% of the time, but knowing you have control over your happiness is priceless.

6. To Manage Stress Better

Stress is an inevitable part of everyday life, but it’s how we deal with it that matters. Constant exposure to stress can weaken not only your immune system but also your mental strength.

Chronic stress, especially at work, can lead to burnout. If you’re tired all the time, feel unproductive and stuck, you need to learn stress management.

Going to a therapy session can teach you ways to control your stress response more efficiently. This way, you can handle whatever life throws your way with a clear mind and come up with solutions.

7. To Heal Past Traumas

Major life events like a difficult divorce, the death of a loved one, physical or mental abuse, witnessing or being a victim of violence, and bullying are among the leading causes for PTSD. Traumas can leave lasting consequences and people don’t usually know how to heal themselves.

The best therapy for PTSD is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy because it helps the patient understand the trauma, learn coping mechanisms, and change their thinking and behavior.

Some less severe life events can also lead to traumatic experiences, especially during childhood. Different people/personalities react differently to different situations and therapy can provide significant relief. 

8. To Deal With Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can ruin a person’s life if left untreated. Therapy is the first step towards sobriety and can get to the core of the problem. Depending on the type of addiction, your therapist will recommend different techniques and methods for treatment.

If your addiction is preventing you from living a normal life, keep a job or affects your close relationships, the next step is going through a residential treatment program.

Going to Therapy Can Change Your Life!

Whatever you’re dealing with mentally and emotionally, know that you are not alone and that help is available.

Going to therapy will set you free of your own limitations, help you enjoy life more, and become the best version of yourself.

If you need help to handle conflicts better, in this article we talk about addressing difficult conversations the right way.