"I can say crazy things to my friends, things I'm embarrassed to admit, like, 'I feel so ugly or worthless today,'" Bell explains. "They say, 'What? You're nuts!' Having good, real friends builds your self-esteem exponentially."
Bell believes she's become a stronger person thanks to her therapist. "If I'm feeling down, I have someone who I trust to help me guide my feelings and help me distinguish the real from the imaginary."
The Veronica Mars alum admits it took some time for her to lighten up. "I did take myself too seriously in my twenties," Bell says, "but you have a series of experiences when you grow up and you have mini epiphanies where you realize you're not the most important person on the planet and life is short. I think that's really healthy."
The actress -- currently engaged to her When in Rome costar Dax Shepard -- says she's still a work in progress. "I've worked really hard to curb my natural impatience by realizing that everyone is doing the best they can."
"I'm least proud of my ability to be lazy and procrastinate by spending time on my computer or in front of the TV, watching America's Funniest Home Videos, the greatest show on television," Bell tells Self. "To anybody who pooh-poohs it, I say, 'Just give it 30 minutes.'"