“For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Before beginning therapy a few months ago (and randomly still), I was reactive to my environment. I wouldn’t say I was angry, like our friend Ralph shares. I was emotional and stressful situations would rent a lot of space in my head.

Recovery has taught me there’s a difference between reasonable and unreasonable reactions to stressors. For instance, if something difficult comes, it would be reasonable to have some form of emotion and work through it. However it wouldn’t be reasonable to catastrophize or to “sit” with the worries for days on end.

My baseline would have been to worry, and think about “what ifs” for days, even having trouble sleeping or concentrating over it. Most of these situations are out of my control – what is in my control is how I respond to it. I can choose to have it cause me more stress and discomfort, or I can notice it, have a response, and roll with what comes next because of it.

A deep breath. A response. A happier outcome.

Kristen Ellis

Kristen has worked in the mental health field since 2013, with a focus on crisis work, substance use services, and bringing a voice to lived experience. Her ambition is to change the way mental health care and recovery is seen and achieved, so to redefine what it means to defeat adversity.