Keep talking: Cabrini student shares story of why talk-therapy works

By Skyler Kellers
December 15, 2022

A woman seated talking to a counselor. The counselor is holding a clipboard, writing down notes.
It's okay to not be okay. Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels.

The moment you start talking about it, it gets easier. I do not know how or when I realized the magnitude of speaking, but if you know me at all, I am a chatterbox.

I am vocal even when it comes to my singing and music studies here at Cabrini. I know it is scary to talk about. I also understand that not everyone is expressive or public with these issues, and that is fine as well. There is no wrong way to be.

Talk therapy is going to talk with someone, usually, a licensed therapist/counselor to help express thoughts, feelings, and life. However, friends and family members can also help with talk therapy. Everyone has mental health per se, but not everyone has a diagnosable mental health disability or issue. According to the Oxford Languages dictionary, mental health is “A person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.”

A counselor writes down notes for her client. Photo from Pexels.

I believe talk therapy is great because it puts thoughts out into existence, and not just in our heads. I think it is important because it is crucial to hear yourself talking, and then realize what you’re actually saying and if it is factual or not.

In addition, talk therapy can benefit the people around the person struggling because they no longer have to see their loved one struggle.

Audio journaling

According to Creative Now, audio journaling is “a brain-hacking tool that can save you from a worry spiral.” I heard about audio journaling from a support group leader. You can just speak whatever you want into existence. Simply download a voice recording app, hit record, and then talk it all out to your device. It also is beneficial because you don’t have to talk to a family member or friend if they do not want to talk or do not have time to talk, you can just release it and say it into a voice memo.

Distraction

Triggered? Just can’t get your mind off something and your mind is everywhere? Well, you can distract yourself to manage those triggers.

Free Crop unrecognizable female psychologist and patient discussing mental problems during session Stock Photo
A client and her counselor talking. Photo from Pexels.

According to Very Well Mind, distraction has been proven to be a powerful tool for people who want to get their minds off something troubling like an upsetting memory or someone who even experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Some people can even be diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Distraction turns off the critical thinking part of your brain and your brain remembers life’s good moments. You might not even remember what you were thinking about in the first place.

Watching television on streaming services, going on social media, coloring, and journaling are all great things that can help distract you. Cleaning your space, listening and signing to music, going outside, and naming the colors in your room can all help distract you too.

How to get a healthy, happy mind

Furthermore, how do you help yourself and get help with mental health challenges? Breathing, mindfulness, distraction, and online meditation relaxing apps like Calm, and an online self-improvement system called A New You by Ava Mistruzzi have video modules to help you learn about motivation, discipline, “I am” affirmations, and more.

I personally invest in and use a variety of meditation and self-improvement apps to help calm me down and create a happy, healthy mind. Additionally, for some people, medication can work wonders.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, if you have anxiety, your cortisol levels and heart rate may be heightened, and the brain may not work as well because of your racing heart, mind, and shaky body. I am on medication; you may be talking to someone and have no idea they take medicine for whatever their condition or symptoms may be. My medicine is vital to my ability to have a quality home, school, and personal life, and without it, I would suffer needlessly.

I believe that there is so much more strength to speak up about having a mental health condition than to not at all. Your struggles do not define you. You choose what defines you.

If you need help and have no idea where to start, you can contact your primary doctor and ask them if medication like Abilify or Clodine, a mood stabilizer, and anti-anxiety medication are options. You can also talk to the incredibly helpful counseling center at Cabrini, CaPs.

Skyler Kellers

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