Trauma is simply an emotional response to a terrible event or experience. While it’s often regarded as a taboo issue to be concealed and ignored, everyone has experienced some kind of trauma. The traumatic experience may have only lasted seconds, but it can have serious effects on your mental health for months, if not years.

So, ask yourself: have you healed from your trauma? The pandemic was difficult for everyone, and it’s a shared trauma amongst most people. Some people lost their jobs and others felt completely isolated. No matter what kind of trauma you’ve experienced, therapy is a great place to heal from the past and learn for the future. Here are three reasons why you should consider therapy if you want to improve your life. 

1. To Understand Yourself

Therapy can help you learn tools you can use in everyday life to help destress.  Stress can come in many forms: work, family, and friends.You can use therapy as a place to safely vent to a third party and gain a new perspective. Talking through things with a therapist can help. A therapist can also prescribe any medications necessary for mental health treatment.

Therapy helps you understand your past actions. By examining our past, we can learn how to be better in the future. You can analyze past patterns and consider what you would like to change. For example, you may shut down when a friend wants to discuss your lack of initiating communication.

Your therapist may suggest having a conversation with your friend about explaining why you have been absent. This may be because of depression or anxiety, or maybe you are simply busy. Speaking with a therapist gives you an unbiased third party to weigh in. This can be especially helpful if your internal thoughts don’t always make sense.

Therapy also teaches you how to unlearn behaviors that no longer serve you. You may have had a parent with a short temper, so you people-please to keep the peace. This behavior could have kept you safe when you were young, but it can be an obstacle for achieving your current goals. It is difficult to unlearn behaviors, but a therapist can help.

2. To Understand Others

Therapy can help you understand the reasoning behind the actions of others. We all have faced our fair share of hardships. Understanding the actions of others can give you closure. It’s important to know that some words are said out of anger. That does not necessarily make those words true.

It is easy to hold bitterness toward your parents because you believe they could have raised you better. That bitterness only hurts you. You can find peace with how you were raised by knowing why your parents did what they did. Through therapy, you learn that your parents did the best with the tools they had.

Understanding the motives and perspective of others can help you gain closure. Therapy can also help you process grief in a healthy manner. You can also heal from the grief and anger that comes with a breakup. Coming to terms with what has happened is important to moving on.

Trauma can happen to anyone, but that doesn’t make you less worthy. Therapy will help you work on building confidence. You can come to terms with the fact that what has happened to you does not have to define you. Trauma comes in many different forms and so does therapy. Any time something doesn’t feel right or you don’t understand what’s happening, it may be helpful to speak with a therapist.

3. To Better Your Life

Therapy can help you prosper in your personal and professional life. You can learn basic skills that will improve all facets of your life. Therapy is all about choosing what you want to focus on. You can explore your past or look at potential options for your future. Therapy is a place to actively think about yourself and have support in doing so. People often don’t set aside time to reflect on their life, but therapy creates that allotted time.

Therapy is a safe place to heal past traumas. You are given the opportunity to unpack what happened and all the emotions that accompany the events. If you experience anxiety attacks or depressive episodes, a therapist can help you identify triggers. You can work with your therapist on positive ways to react to triggers. You can practice grounding techniques when you experience a trigger to stay present in the moment.

You can change your life for the better by learning about coping skills. A useful coping skill for combatting anxiety or a panic attack is practicing mindfulness. This can look like counting five objects around you and describing them. This helps you focus on something other than your panic attack. This also keeps you present in the moment. You may find that physically touching an object like a blanket may help you.

Therapy is meant to teach you how to cope with circumstances rather than avoid them. For example, if you get anxious while grocery shopping, you should not avoid the activity altogether. Therapy will teach you how to ease yourself into accepting the anxiety that comes with the shopping trip. Go to the grocery store in smaller increments of time so it seems less intimidating or bring a friend along. Therapy will give you tips to create a better life.

Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Most everyone experiences that feeling every now and then. Therapists provide new perspectives that can help. If you can’t bring yourself to pre-rinse your dishes, run the dishwasher twice. If you can’t fathom taking a shower, do it sitting down. If you forget about vegetables in the crisper drawer, put them somewhere else. When you are in a difficult mental or emotional place, adjusting expectations can help you discover how to cope.

We’re constantly battling society’s expectations about what we should do and can’t do, but we don’t always think about what’s best for us. That’s what therapists are there to do. They’re there to challenge your own thoughts and belief systems and help you get to a healthy mental state. If you need your life to improve, talk to them about it.

Therapy is a great resource when you have time. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the national suicide hotline for 24/7 help.