Therapy tends to get a bad rap, but it's actually the best thing you can do for yourself, especially if you’re in your 20s.
Your 20s bring about a confusing time in general. You compare yourself to everyone on your Facebook News Feed; you want to have your sh*t together so badly, but it seems nearly impossible.
Going to therapy helps you to verbalize your hopes, dreams and doubts, and it can only make this hazy time in life clearer.
I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to be before spending the past two years in therapy. Now, I feel like a completely different person.
Here are the reasons why therapy is the best when you’re in your 20s:
1. You get to be the best version of yourself.
Your 20s are all about figuring out who you are and creating your own life. So, why not be the best version of yourself? A therapist can help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and own them.
I learned to utilize my strengths; I learned to work on and accept my weaknesses. For example, I’m pretty creative, which is a strength, but I’m a slob, which is a weakness.
The longest I can keep my room clean is one week. I just have to learn to accept I’m never going to be an overly organized and tidy person.
2. Therapy is one hour of straight-up "you time."
Taking that one hour to focus on yourself helps you to get in touch with your roots, and it makes you push yourself to grow into who you want to be.
Sometimes, life can move so fast we don’t even take the time to check in with ourselves. I can’t stress how important this is.
3. Therapists can't divulge your secrets.
Nothing tops the comfort of being able to spill everything and anything to someone, and know that it’s totally confidential. Also, they’re professional listeners and can give you educated feedback.
If I took my friends' advice after complaining to them about my problems, I’d be drunk at a Taco Bell texting all of my ex-boyfriends right now.
4. Set the foundation for your future.
There is definitely some wisdom behind the saying, “The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.” Therapy keeps you grounded and in touch with your authentic self, a relationship you should be most loyal to while hustling and climbing the ladder of life.
You can become a crazy millionaire with a boat and fancy car, but you won’t feel happy if you’re not at peace on the inside.
5. Self-awareness is key.
This is probably the biggest takeaway for me: Being self-aware helps you live a lighter life.
If you have anxiety, you will naturally calm down just by being aware of yourself feeling anxious. It’s sort of like when you’re watching a scary movie, and you tell yourself over and over again, “It’s just a scary movie!” You're aware it’s just a movie, it’s not real, and life is going to continue.
The same goes with anxiety, except there are no chainsaws!
6. You’ll become a better friend.
This sort of ties into self-awareness. I remember sitting at a bar with my friend, and she told me her parents got her a personal trainer. I felt so annoyed: “Ugh, it must be nice to have your parents pay for everything. She’s probably going to have the best body now,” I thought.
I remember wanting her to order more fries. I realized what I was feeling, and I didn’t like it. I was being such a bad friend.
I realized these thoughts were stemming from my own insecurities. I had to choose not to be a sh*tty person, but I wouldn’t have had that shift if I wasn’t aware of my behavior, and what it was really coming from.
7. You’ll learn you're not actually crazy. (This might not apply to everyone.)
I learned a lot of what I was feeling was completely normal. Feeling completely stuck a few years after college is something people don’t post about in their Facebook statuses, but it’s happening to all of us 20-somethings.
You’re not a fresh post-grad, but you also don’t have all of the experience required for the jobs you want. It’s frustrating, and it can cause you to feel unsure of yourself. Therapy normalizes those feelings, and it helps you to navigate through them in an effective way.
8. Figure out your real issues now rather than later.
People are fighting their own battles, right? Some people are serial daters, and some people are commitment-phobes. We all have our things.
I don’t want to find the love of my life, and then mess it up with my unresolved issues. I want to sort that stuff out now so it’s not a huge problem later on in life. It’s still acceptable to be a little crazy in your 20s.
If I didn’t take the time to reflect, figure myself out and actually deal with what was happening, I don’t know where I’d be. (Actually, I do know where I’d be and it's crying on my bathroom floor, listening to Imogen Heap.)
Therapy is a party, and you’re all invited.