Good things do not come to those that wait. This is especially true of mental health. When you struggle with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health condition, change will not happen without action. It is not possible to experience progress magically.
This is one of the first things that we teach people here in therapy – that you are the one that is most in control over your mental health in the future. In order for therapy to be effective, it cannot just be that you think about your problem during the session and not work on the issue outside of therapy. You have to take what you learn with you.
Implementing Strategies Outside of Therapy
You are only in a session for an hour once or twice a week. You are at home and work the entire rest of the time – the two places where your mental health is going to have the biggest impact, and the places where the ups and downs in life occur.
That is why it is not just what happens inside of each session that matters, but what happens outside of it that is going to have the greatest long term impact. The more you take what you learned in therapy and actively implement it into your life, dedicating yourself to attitudinal and behavioral changes, the more you’ll be able to see real life results.
Far too often, I see people think that if they delay decisions and action that they are not actually making a decision, and are in fact buying time. But the choice to delay change IS making a decision. You are making the decision to take a passive approach to your mental health, expecting and hoping things will change for you. This is the formula for stagnation, and will not bring about what you need.
Instead, every day, remind yourself to take action:
- To pay attention to how you feel.
- To make the decisions that are best for you.
- To utilize the strategies that we discuss in therapy.
Addressing your mental health should be something that you integrate into your life every day, especially outside of our therapeutic sessions. It is your willingness and commitment to the activities that will have the best impact that are going to help you see the relief you need to move forward, and the success that you hoped to get from therapy.