As you went through treatment, you also worked hard in your therapy. Within therapy, you were given tools and taught skills to cope with things, not only in your past, but now and beyond. You found what worked for you, you healed, and you stepped back out into the real world. No matter how long it has been since you have completed treatment, it is always a good idea to take a minute and remember what you learned in therapy.
One of the most important tools that you could have learned in therapy is to be present. Here and now, not distracted, just right now. Perhaps you learned the value of meditation in being present. Yoga is also really helpful with this. By narrowing your world down to simply focusing on your breathing, you can push everything else away and clear your mind. By clearing your mind, you can see things as they are, and utilize mindfulness.
Mindfulness centers around being present, adding the ability to accept everything that is in that moment – your thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the here and now. Acceptance allows us to experience these things without judgment or emotion.
You probably remember the first time you achieved mindfulness in therapy, and how that may have felt completely different than the emotional, chaotic thoughts and feelings in your mind and body. Think about how different it feels to just relax, breathe and be present without all of the distractions.
If it has been a while since you mindfully meditated, start your remembering there. Notice how your body feels different, too. How your breathing and focus help you to relax and just accept where you are right then. The more you do this, the better you get at it. Your mind actually becomes more resilient, which gives you better control over your mind the rest of the time. Like working out in a physical sense, remembering mindfulness will strengthen your mind and the ability that you have to see the world through mindfulness and acceptance.
Managing Your Stress
Stress management is another powerful tool that can change your world today and every day. Remembering back to your therapy, you learned some good ways to help you manage when your body and mind feel stress due to negative emotions that feel unbearable.
You can use what you learned to distract yourself from the emotion with emotionally neutral or more pleasing activities. You can use your five senses to self-soothe when the emotions around your stress are too overwhelming. Don’t forget that you can help yourself improve the moment, using the tools you gained in therapy to improve your emotions around this stress. Finally, you can also focus on the pros and cons. By managing your stress with the skills that you learned in therapy, you can avoid negative behaviors and lower the amount of stress within your body.
Advocating for Yourself
During your time in therapy, you focused a lot on improving your communication with others. One of the more empowering tools to remember is to advocate for yourself. You have the power to express your needs and wants, and the power to do it in a way that is most likely to be heard and understood. As you advocate for yourself and communicate your needs, you will find that in many cases, it unlocks a world for you, a world that fulfills your needs (and possibly more.) Most importantly, the change that happens in you when you advocate for yourself is powerful.
Balancing Your Emotions
Within therapy, you learned how to better understand your emotions, learning that there are no judgments like right and wrong when it comes to your own emotional response to a situation. You may remember learning about emotional vulnerability, and using the control you have to create more enjoyable activities within each day, so that you can balance any potentially negative responses to activities. You know, too, that you can also decrease your own emotional suffering when you are willing to let go of things or take actions that are the opposite of where you are now. By remembering these skills, you will find that you will be more emotionally balanced each day, which also reduces your emotional stressors.
Checking In Daily
As you remember your skills, you can also check in with yourself daily. How is your mood today? Are you present and accepting? How are you managing your stress? Are you communicating well and making sure to advocate for your own needs? Are you remembering to use the skills you have to balance your emotions? A quick check-in daily with the skills that you learned in therapy will help you to not only remember to use them, but also help you figure out how you are doing and if you need to seek any additional help.
You worked hard to overcome your challenges in therapy, but your life is still ahead of you. Your bag of tools in therapy was filled for a reason, and you have the opportunity to use those tools every day. As you exercise those skills, you become stronger, your mind becomes stronger. When you learn to manage your stress and your emotions well, you have such an advantage in life. Remember your therapy, and remember to be strong.
Remembering everything you learned in therapy can be a continuous blessing in your life. Call Embark Behavioral Health at 1-855-809-0409 if you need a refresher. Make the most of the work you’ve done by remembering your skills.