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Mental Health

Mantras I’ve Learned in Therapy



Life is not linear. There are times in life that are harder than others. Recently, I have been going through a difficult time. Anytime there are major milestones or points of transition in my life, I have a very difficult time moving through my feelings and emotions. As a result, I have started going to therapy through the IUP Counseling Center. I have gone to counseling a few other times in my life and it’s been very helpful. 


I am finding this session has been the most helpful. I personally struggle with feelings of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and feeling like things are moving faster than I can keep up with which when talking with my peers, I am finding are very common feelings for college students. However, I have learned 5 mantras, sayings or tasks that have helped me a lot and they are as follows:


  1. “You’ve done it before and you can do it again.” Sometimes there are weeks where we have so much to do, we can quickly become overwhelmed. These are the days that the “To-Do” lists seem longer than the hours in the day. It is important on these days that you remind yourself of tasks you have overcome in the past, that you did them and that you felt good once they were completed. 

  2. “You’re not that important; most likely people aren’t thinking about you.” This mantra seems counter-intuitive, however, if you find yourself obsessing over what people might be thinking about you, use this one to remind yourself that they most likely aren’t. To be honest, most people are too busy thinking of themselves to be thinking about you. 

  3. “Trust yourself, find comfort in being yourself.” One thing I have learned in my counseling journey is that knowing yourself and finding comfort in that is really important. Knowing what you like and allowing yourself to find others that do and indulging yourself in the things you enjoy are important. If you ever feel lost, remind yourself that you aren’t. You are a person who you’ve molded for so many years and find worth in that. 

  4. “You are allowed to make mistakes and forgive yourself.” This is something that I and many college kids struggle with. It can be very difficult to not be hard on yourself, especially in today’s society. There are so many “standards” and “expectations” that society and social media have put on young people. There are so many lists of do’s and don’t’s that it can be hard to differentiate what you actually need to be doing. So, if you aren’t doing what you should or you make a mistake, forgive yourself, you are only human. We all make mistakes, we just make different ones. 

  5. “Make time for yourself, it is important.” Often referred to as “self-care” or “me time,” whatever you call it, making time for the things that relax you and recharge you is important. For example, I have been really busy this year, breakfast for me is typically on the go. However, on Wednesdays, I have a two-hour break between class and work. These days, I come home after class and make myself a hearty breakfast and allow myself to recharge on the couch while enjoying it. I make it a point not to think of tasks I have to do or how busy my day is. I allow myself to enjoy my breakfast and sometimes I watch tv or listen to music. Even though it is simply, I look forward to it and it makes my day better. 


I hope these 5 simple ideas make your day a little bit better. If you are going through a tough time, go and seek help, whether its a friend, family member or counseling. There are tools at your college that can help you. Don’t feel ashamed, the feelings you are feeling are valid and need to be felt. 

Cats and Caffeine are key.
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