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"I don’t know what to do with my life" - 6 ways starting therapy for young adults could help

counseling for young adults, therapy for college students

Quarter life crisis? Are you thinking "what should I do with my life?"

Life can be a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Many adults in their early twenties and thirties are navigating multiple changes and for many, they are setting out on their own for the first time and feel like they're experiencing a quarter life crisis. The mental health of many young adults is affected by these life transitions, developing their sense of self, and navigating the expectations of their family members as well as themselves.

Here we'll give you five helpful tips of how therapy can help young adults navigate this new and challenging stage of life especially when you're feeling stuck and not sure how to figure out what you want from life.

1. Gain more self awareness as a young adult

First, therapy for young adults can help you gain self-awareness and get to know yourself on a deeper level. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and understand how they impact your life. Therapy provides you a safe space where you can explore your thoughts and emotions so you can start to make changes if need be.

A therapist can help you identify patterns of behavior that may be holding you back and help you develop skills to make changes. By increasing your self-awareness, you'll be better equipped to make positive changes in your life and build stronger relationships with others.

Fostering self awareness also allows you to know yourself on a deeper level in order to figure out what you truly want from life.

Emerging adults are often discovering what they want and who they want to become. By cultivating self awareness, you can identify areas of your life where you're struggling and feeling overwhelmed. For instance, you might realize that you have a tendency to overthink and have negative thought patterns, and many times young adults think that this negative self talk is "normal".

However the therapeutic process can help you unpack this pattern and how it is affecting your daily life. Once you identify these challenges, you can work with your therapist to develop strategies to make sustainable changes that support you. By understanding yourself better, you can make more informed decisions, set appropriate boundaries, and build healthier relationships.

life transitions, therapy for young adults

2. Figure out the “what”, then the “how”

So many of us often get stuck on “how” were going to achieve our goals and create a life that we love.  Out minds sometimes send us down a rabbit hole of doubts with thoughts like “how am I going to be independent?”; “how can I be successful?”; “how can I find a partner etc.

Your mind start spinning with all the different paths of how you’re going to create the life that you want. Many young adults get stuck in the “how” or the process needed to create a life that they want. However many times we are unsure “what” we want from life and “what” is most important to us.

Therapy for young adults can help you reevaluate the  questions you’re asking so that you can get unstuck. Therapy can help you first understand *what* you want and then build a path of *how* you’re going to get there.  Having a clear direction where you’re headed can help you feel more grounded and calm in order to move towards the life you want.

3. Explore the unique challenges of managing expectations

It's common for young adults to feel pressure to meet the expectations of their parents, peers, and society. So many young adults experience a quarter-life crisis since they thought they knew what they wanted, but when they finally finish school or achieve their goals, they start to realize that maybe this isn't exactly how they envisioned their life.

Having to make a decisions regarding your career or confusing your studies, often can be overwhelming. Many young adults experience decision paralysis around major life decisions. Family pressure or expectations can be another layer that therapy can help you unpack feelings of confusion, possible guilt, or overwhelm so you can have more clarity about what you want to do with you life.

This pressure can be overwhelming and can lead to anxiety and depression. A therapist can help you identify how family dynamics have influenced these expectations that might be causing you stress and develop strategies to manage them effectively.

Emerging adulthood is a time when many people need to reevaluate what they want and what they thought they want because of the expectations of others.

Therapy for young adults allows you to gain a different perspective and evaluate if there are family differences related to what you want in your own life. Young adulthood is a the stage in life when many people experience mental health issues due to a clash between complying with what has been expected of you and being their authentic self.