When life throws you for a loop, we typically have our go-to coping mechanisms to ease the tension of the uncomfortable feelings that go with the troubling situations life puts us in. A lot of the time the coping we choose tends to cause more stress than actual comfort. We eat to stuff our feelings, causing us to struggle with self-image and self-hatred. We isolate ourselves and over think the situation we are dealing with, often causing us to think negatively and struggle with finding solutions because we over emphasize the emotional impact rather than giving ourselves credit that we can deal with this situation like the countless other situations we have found ourselves in. We stuff our feelings down in order to avoid them and not deal with them, causing us to emotionally over react in other non-related situations and relationships we encounter every day and then struggle with understanding ourselves in the process, which leads to self-doubt and lowers our confidence and self-esteem.
As a therapist, I strive to help people gain confidence in working through and feeling their emotions in the moment or shortly after in order to not bury them. When we attempt to experience them and accept them, we gain a better understanding of ourselves and are able to recognize how certain situations influence and impact us. When one gains that understanding we are able to more proactively make changes in our lives in order to gain confidence in dealing with certain people and situations because we understand how it is going to affect us emotionally so we don't criticize or judge ourselves for how we do react when things happen. If we no longer judge or criticize ourselves, we are able to build self-esteem and awareness which makes us more confident in dealing with more situations we face on a daily basis and doesn't throw us off nearly as much. We gain control in ourselves, which far outweighs feeling in control of what is going on around you... because, lets be honest, you can't control what is going on in life outside of yourself anyways and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will become more capable of controlling what we can and letting go of what we can't. This will lead to a higher level of life satisfaction. Who doesn't want that?!
Rachael Kool, professional counselor and normal, everyday adult screw up