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26 Mind-Blowing Mental Health Tips That Will Stick With You

FEEL YOUR FEELINGS.

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We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the most mind-blowing advice they had ever gotten from a therapist.

Here are some words of wisdom that really stuck. (And remember, these tips aren't replacements for going to therapy for yourself — they're just pieces of advice that some people found helpful, and you might too.)

1. You don't have to be thankful that it's not worse.

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"I had a habit of playing down my emotions to my therapist, knowing that a lot of my problems were lucky problems to have and that a lot of people have it worse than I do. My therapist always reminds me that other people's suffering — whether it's more or less than my own — doesn't negate what I'm going through and how I deserve to feel better."

—Alana Werder, Facebook

2. You will make decisions that turn out to be wrong, and you shouldn't beat yourself up because of them.

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"If you make a decision and later it turns out not to be the best thing, it's okay. You made the choice based on the current information and maybe what was best for past-you. Future-you might know differently, but it doesn't invalidate that past decision or mean that it was bad."

—Sarah E. Dunham, Facebook

3. Give as much thought to best-case scenarios as you do to worst-case scenarios.

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"My imagination runs amok with possible threats leaving me a panicked mess. My therapist gave me the tip to think about best-case scenarios as much as worst-case ones, like me going to the store and coming back safely versus me going to the store and getting into an accident or someone trying to hurt me. It's helped deal with negative thoughts a lot."

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4. Not all of your relationships will last forever, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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"You don't have 'failed' relationships. Your former relationships lasted as long as they needed to in order to teach you whatever they needed to teach you. Your job is to learn that lesson and move on."

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5. Let yourself feel your feelings instead of pushing them down.

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"Be in the moment, identify what you are feeling, how it feels, try to picture it as a color or a shape in your mind. People tend to push away their emotions, stuff them deep down, and all that does is build up more and more inside you. Being able to sit in whatever emotions I was feeling — and identify the fact that, 'Oh hey, I'm really angry and that's okay' — helped me actually deal with that emotion and get through it!"

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6. Drop "should" from your vocabulary.

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"Stop 'should-ing' on yourself. Should often represents unrealistic standards, set by yourself or others. It doesn't matter what you 'should' be doing or not doing, or how you 'should' feel. All that matters is making it through the next minute, hour, or day, and never giving up on recovery."

jennywrenrobin

7. You're allowed to say "no" and set boundaries in your life.

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"My therapist taught me that it was my life and I was allowed to tell people no and did not have to give a reason for it if I didn't feel like it. Also, that I didn't have to feel guilty for it. Once I started setting boundaries with people my life got so much better."

princetonhopeful17

8. You'll never really know what people are thinking, so try not to obsess.

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"In high school, the counselor told me this once when I was struggling with paranoia about what others thought about me. It has stuck with me ever since. It is written on a digital post-it on my laptop, and when those annoying patterns of thinking start to emerge, I remind myself of what she said."

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10. You never actually know the reasons why people say or do things that affect you, so don't jump to conclusions.

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"For instance, every time someone took longer than an hour to respond to a text, my brain would automatically think that I did something wrong, and I'm a loser and that no one wants to talk to me, or that I'm a horrible person that doesn't deserve friends. When in reality, their phone could have died, or they hadn't read my text yet, or they were busy."

alishadgreen

11. When life tests you, don't be afraid to get in its face and challenge it.

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"When everything goes wrong and it seems like Murphy's Law is out to get you, everyone says, 'Life is just testing you.' That thought always left me defeated and anxious, so my therapist said, 'Well, test life back! Any time that happens and you figure something is gonna go wrong, say, "Fuck you, life. This will go right!''' It's such a little thing but it's changed my life."

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12. Don't get caught up in thinking about what other people might do.

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"Don't pre-think others' actions. Don't make decisions based on what you THINK other people might do. Let things happen."

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14. Being passive-aggressive is never a healthy means of expressing a grievance — it is much better to just say what you need to say.

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"It is equally important to make an honest attempt to see the other person's perspective before opening my mouth. Taking the time to formulate a response during an argument is not weakness."

—K De Leon, Facebook

15. Your anger is often a mask for hurt, fear, and sadness.

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"When my therapist told me this, it was like the floodgates opened and I was able to process my emotions clearly for the first time."

libbyboo

16. Write out a list of accomplishments and achievements that you can (and should) be proud of.

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"I have a hard time finding things I am truly proud of, but my therapist told me to put things down that other people may have congratulated me for, or things that could be objectively seen as accomplishments, whether I believed them or not. I carry this list with me and read it whenever I'm feeling especially low or hopeless."

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17. You can love someone and not like them at the same time.

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"It doesn't mean you don't love them and it doesn't mean you accept the hurt they cause. It's kind of a paradox."

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18. You need to build up your own support group.

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"Go to your doctor. Tell your parents. My therapist not only taught me that I didn't have to do this alone but also that it's nothing to be ashamed of, and I have since been able to be more candid with other people — including friends who it turns out were/are suffering as well."

—MaKenna DeHart, Facebook

19. Do something every day, however small, that you truly love and enjoy.

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"Whether it's make hot chocolate, read a chapter of a book, watch YouTube video(s), whatever. As long as it brought a bit of happiness and wasn't something I HAD to do. It honestly helped so much and it's something I still try to do daily now."

cmodinh

20. Create your own space.

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"A space where things were mine, they pleased me, and made me feel safe and at home. And to use that space to do the things I enjoyed and that made me happy. It taught me to learn about what I liked, not what I thought I should like. And it gave me a space that was free of stress, anxiety, judgment, and the need to perform. With time, I learned to take that with me, so that that space became everywhere I was, everywhere I am."

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21. Nothing changes if you don't make changes.

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"If you keep repeating the same actions, hanging out with the same toxic people, leaving your unhealthy, negative thoughts unchecked, etc., over and over, the outcome will not magically be different. If you want things in your life to change, you can take steps to create change."

carolynreneep

22. Imagine your intrusive or negative thoughts coming from someone you really hate so you can shut them down.

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"My therapist told me to imagine the intrusive thoughts coming from Donald Trump. So when they come up, I'm like, 'Shut up, you rotten orange.'"

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23. Don't get carried away analyzing the things in your life like plot lines in a TV show.

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"My therapist talked about the importance of, 'Dropping the storylines.' Meaning, when I start to ruminate on what has happened to me and what that means about the people who inflicted the pain and abuse, I realize that I'm weaving stories and that I should stop and investigate what triggered it. I identify my emotions (fear, anger, grief) and figure out what brought them to the surface at that particular moment. My focus shifts to me, rather than the people I am still angry at, and I'm able to process and release some of the burden."

—Corrina Stoddart, Facebook

24. Sometimes you have to be a friend to yourself — so be a damn good one.

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"When a friend is having a crappy day or feeling like shit, you don't put them down some more, but you are kind and caring to them. You make sure they eat right, or take them for a walk, or just sit with them so they don't feel as alone. Why not do that for yourself? You have to be your own best friend."

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26. And lastly, sometimes therapy will make you feel a lot worse before you start to feel better.

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"Going into it, I thought just bringing myself to therapy would solve my problems overnight. Little did I know I had to put in a lot of work and make changes of my own. But gradually, things started to feel MUCH better. So to anyone out there who's feeling more down about starting therapy, stick it out with a good therapist because it is SO worth it."

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Btw, nothing is as good as having your own therapist who knows you and can tailor advice to you. So if this post has gotten you curious about seeking out therapy for yourself, here are some resources you might want to check out:

* A Beginner's Guide To Starting Therapy

* Here's What To Do If You Can't Afford Therapy

* 17 Things Therapists Want You To Know Before Your First Session

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