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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Linder

Navigating the Depths: A Therapist's Perspective on Pushing Through When You Feel Like You're Drowning

A large wave on the ocean
A turbulent sea

As therapists, we often find ourselves sitting across from individuals who feel as though they're drowning in the depths of their emotions, struggles, and challenges. It's a common human experience to feel overwhelmed, lost, and suffocated by life's pressures. However, just as ships navigate stormy seas, there are ways to push through when you feel like you're drowning.


Firstly, it's crucial to acknowledge and validate your feelings. Denying or suppressing emotions only amplifies their intensity. Instead, allow yourself to feel what you're feeling without judgment. Emotions are messengers, signaling what's going on inside. By acknowledging them, you begin to understand yourself better, paving the way for healing and growth.

Next, seek support. Just as a life preserver can save someone from drowning, reaching out for help can be a lifeline in times of distress. Whether it's talking to a trusted friend, family member, or seeking professional help from a therapist, know that you don't have to navigate the rough waters alone. Therapy, in particular, provides a safe space to explore your emotions, develop coping strategies, and gain insights into your thought patterns and behaviors.

Mindfulness practices can also offer solace in turbulent times. Mindfulness teaches us to anchor ourselves in the present moment, helping to alleviate anxiety about the future or rumination over the past. By practicing mindfulness, you cultivate a sense of inner calm and resilience, enabling you to weather life's storms with greater ease.

Moreover, consider reframing your perspective. When you feel overwhelmed, it's easy to get caught up in a negative narrative. However, challenging negative thoughts and focusing on gratitude can shift your mindset towards a more positive outlook. Cultivating gratitude fosters resilience by reminding you of the good amidst the chaos and encouraging a sense of perspective.

Setting boundaries is another crucial aspect of staying afloat when you feel overwhelmed. Often, feeling like you're drowning can stem from overcommitting and spreading yourself too thin. Learning to say no when necessary and prioritizing self-care is essential for maintaining balance and preventing burnout.

Finally, remember that it's okay to ask for help and take breaks when needed. Pushing through doesn't mean bulldozing your way through obstacles without regard for your well-being. Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is to step back, reassess, and regroup before forging ahead.


Feeling like you're drowning is a challenging experience, but it's not insurmountable. By acknowledging your feelings, seeking support, practicing mindfulness, reframing your perspective, setting boundaries, and knowing when to ask for help or take breaks, you can navigate the depths and emerge stronger on the other side. Just as ships eventually find their way to shore, you too can push through and find solace amidst life's storms.

If you feel like you're drowning and would like some help, contact one of our counselors today to schedule your free consultation at 330-203-1098 or

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