The word therapy tends to take on a negative connotation. I’m not sure why. Could it be that we live in a world driven by likes and retweets on social media posts that only show the edited-best of oneself? Or could it just be that people tend to think therapy is reserved for only the craziest of crazy people?
I’d like to flip that for just a second! And, in doing so, it has really helped me shape a change in my thinking about what therapy is and just how healthy it is.
Let’s first take a short second to touch on what therapy is. Before you think I’m going to get all psycho-medical-geek on defining it, know that I’m not a medical professional of any sorts. I want to water it down so far that it takes on an over-generalizing meaning. So, here goes:
THERAPY is TREATMENT.
Simple and quick to the point! Again, in the broad sense of it, therapy is whatever form of treatment that works for YOU and you only. There are a lot of ways to go about therapy. Sure, you can go see a professional counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Heck, if you’re one of those types that talks to your animals – guilty of this myself – and that works, well, that works too.
What I’m trying to get at here is that who you see or what you do, just do something. Therapy isn’t only for crazy people! It’s for everyone. Myself included!
So, what do I do? I have found that I require a few different forms of therapy in my life to function at my best. If any one of these things gets out of alignment, I can almost set a countdown to the inevitable onslaught of feelings of anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other things.
I’ve always been a creative person. Even as a young kid, I was always creating! One of the stories that still brings about a smile is when I was only a few years old while attending day-care. I made friends with a little boy named Schaffer Stevenson, and we would always find ourselves living in our own little world. (Maybe this is why I feel so connected to the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip?)
Another form of therapy for me is art. I’m NO artist by any means! But, I don’t care. I still like to create art. I like to draw and paint. Painting is something I’ve just discovered I enjoy doing. As a matter of fact, the image used above is one of my recent paintings as is this one:
Weights. Usually my go-to when it comes to self-therapy. I lift weights daily. Sure, there are times where my body says to take a day off. And I listen. I’ve learned to listen to my body when it says it needs to rest. This has been one of the biggest takeaways from lifting weights; listen to your body. Doing so will help you know more about yourself than anything else you can do.
Lastly, people. Most importantly is my wife. I need her. She is an immense help to the balance and stability I need in my life. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a hermit. I’m okay with being alone. I don’t need a lot of people around me. I don’t do well around certain people or certain types of people for that matter. However, there are those who help bring about the best in me. They are in a way, therapy for me.
Let me circle back around to the idea that therapy is healthy. It really is, and shame on anyone who tries to tell you you’re crazy for doing therapy. Remember, therapy in its simplest definition is treatment. There a many different ways to go about therapy. Find what works for you and do that.