Chrissy Metz Says Therapy Has Helped Her Connect With Her Feelings

At 39, Chrissy Metz is embracing a radical, uncompromising approach to self-care. In Good Housekeeping‘s January/February cover story featuring Metz, the “This Is Us” star opened up about the ways she’s embraced being thoughtfully selfish in her life — to make sense of and move beyond past trauma and forge forward for her mental and physical health as she takes on some seriously exciting new projects. It’s been a busy year for her, okay?

Citing her experiences growing up with a physically and emotionally abusive step-father, she says that reframing her experiences into things that she could channel to reach her goals and connect more deeply as a performer has been helpful. “My upbringing was very different and often tumultuous, but all those things shaped me to be who I am,” Metz told Good Housekeeping. “I realized those things served me in what I wanted to do, in being vulnerable and having the ability to be very emotional … [I] think [to myself], ‘There’s a reason I went through all these things: to become the person I am and to accept myself through it all.'”

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So much of this difficult-but-rewarding reprogramming and re-thinking she credits to doing the work in therapy. “We have to talk about our feelings, and I physically have been stuffing them all my life, so to have someone listen to me, without judgment … It was like, ‘Oh, OK, this is different,” Metz said.

Metz also says she’s been able to consider her relationship to food and how to make it a more positive and more conscious one: “I’ve battled weight issues, but I realize that I don’t have to beat myself up if I have XYZ food. Instead, I change my perspective and think, ‘What is it that I’m angry about?’ since we tend to want crunchy foods when we’re angry or ice cream when we soothe ourselves. All these things I’m just trying to be cognizant of.”

She brings that awareness to other parts of her life, including in her use of social media — which can be a complicated place when you’re a celebrity balancing all you are able and willing to give to your fans while also surrounded by a myriad of Other People’s (often irrelevant) Opinions.

“Every single time I post something [I think]: ‘What is my intention? Am I seeking validation? Do I want somebody to think I look pretty because I’m feeling bad about myself today?’ I always start with that,” she says. “Sometimes people come to my page to look for positive encouragement … but the only thing I can do is be myself, and hopefully that inspires people.”

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