Overthinking Is Overrated: Therapist’s Open Letter To Millennials

"Gen Z may have TikTok and less debt (for now), but you have years of life experience. This makes you so valuable as a colleague, employee, partner, parent, friend, sibling, or any of the other hats you wear in life," writes psychotherapist Tess Brigham.

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A major part of adulting is also realising that not everything is in our control and that life doesn't always work according to plans. A US-based therapist who belongs to the same generation wrote an open letter to all millennials offering some insights into what it takes to break free, let go, and value the experience they have attained. 

San Francisco-based psychotherapist, and also a mother, Tess Brigham works primarily with millennials and millennial parents. With her letter, she wished to impart some of her major takeaways from not just her interactions with people but also her own life experiences.  

Therapist Letter To Millennials

Brigham addresses the generation of middle-aged millennials saying that most people believe they would have their life "figured out" by the age of 30, and when that doesn't happen, they regret it and tend self-blame. Wondering "where I did I go wrong" can often result in long-term anxiety, she says. 

From the burden of student debt to establishing a bank balance to support family and kids, and rising costs of literally everything, there's so much millennials have to worry about. However, there are also a lot of years of experience and wisdom they have gained, and Brigham tries to reassure the generation of those lessons. 

"Overthinking every little move is overrated and causes more harm than good"

Sometimes, you just have to do it. Not just from Brigham, we've heard this multiple times across social media because it's true. Questioning every little choice and losing sleep over it can cause more harm than good. 


When it comes to making major decisions, she adds, one must think about those that can have a significant positive impact on their priorities, which differ from person to person. By tapping on one's purest instincts and the abundance of knowledge gained, it's easier to find answers for the next step. 

"Don't be hard on yourself"

One of my favourite observations in the letter is learning to not be hard on oneself. Brigham reflects on how she has heard most of her patients regret things they haven't been able to achieve referring to their non-accomplishments as mistakes.

"What really matters is the decisions you already made. You can’t backtrack if you’re unhappy about your choices, but you can pivot to get closer to where you want to be."

"Never stop valuing experience"

Brigham's take on why millennials must not compare themselves with the younger generation is gold. She writes, "Gen Z may have TikTok and less debt (for now), but what you have that they don’t is so much better: Years and years of life experience. This is what makes you so valuable as a colleague, employee, partner, parent, friend, sibling, or any of the other hats you wear in life."


"You can be a great mentor"

Isn't learning from setbacks a great deal of mentorship advice, too? Millennials may not be the youngest people in the room anymore, but what they say matters, what they believe in matters. Coming from the time of no internet to now living in this massive boom of digitalisation, millennials have seen it all so knowing what matters is something the younger generation can definitely take heed from. 

Brigham writes, "Keep sharing your stories and don’t forget to listen to other people’s stories as well. A lot of inspiration and problem-solving can take place when you open your eyes and your ears."

"Prioritise health, do not bother about unnecessary expectations"

The constant running around without a halt, without care for physical, mental and emotional health is certainly a danger sign for ageing millennials. Taking care of health, in fact, does not require a person to be a certain age; it's supposed to be prioritised, however, all the time. Being present, Brigham adds, is the foremost thing that adds value to a life lived best. "Appreciating the time you have with people, having people to love, and cutting out of toxic relationships is key to a happy life in the long run."

Suggested reading: Second Chances Are Blessing: Five Millennial Women On Finding Love After Divorce

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