What Is Self-Help and How Can It Help?
Self-help is defined as the action of improving oneself without the help from others. Often times, people look to self-help books to get a clear perspective about life when things get too hard.
Some people believe that self-help doesn’t actually work because many people have reported that it doesn’t provide them with lasting change. However, there are multiple scenarios in which self-help has worked and when it can benefit you the most.
When Self-Help Works
* People often attempt self-help when trying to be more productive with their work and everyday life. These people can then focus on goal setting, time management, and prioritizing. Rather than getting help from a “professional,” it’s common for people to help themselves when wanting to become more productive. They know deep down what they are doing wrong that is preventing them from being productive, so it only makes sense that they are the ones to help themselves.
* Self-help helps people gain that momentum back when they have lost sight of their goals, or never even had the inspiration in life to do great things. Once again, you know yourself best, so you have the greatest idea at where you lost inspiration and why you lost it. Asking yourself these questions has often been key in finding or even discovering that inspiration back into your life.
How to Get the Most out of Self-Help
Despite what so many people say, self-help works! Here are some tips to getting the most out of self-help.
1. Most people have the skill tapped within themselves to improve their lives on their own.
2. So much can be gained through determination, hard work, and independence.
3. Learning new concepts and techniques can help people develop skills which they can then benefit from.
4. Anything that provides a person with motivation and inspiration can help someone make a positive change in their life.
Limitations with Self-Help
It’s important that you know sometimes there are situations in life where self-help won’t work, as it cannot help with everything. In many situations, self-help can only get you so far.
1. There aren’t any “magic formulas” for success, meaning that there isn’t always one specific answer.
2. Getting help from mentors and important people in your life isn’t a bad thing, as they can add in a perspective you didn’t originally have.
3. It’s important to know that any issues with addiction, anxiety, and depression cannot be “cured” by yourself.
4. Most of the self-help material out there for you is mainly about the hype, and not the substance. A lot of it provides little transformational value.
There are so many people who have proven that self-help truly does work. Different people have different techniques than others do to achieve that sense of achievement by way of independence.
It’s key that you figure out how to help yourself, because even if you don’t get what you wanted to out of self-help, you’ve gained a skill that’s important to have in this society: independence. Getting help from yourself is eye opening and provides you with so many benefits, including motivation and inspiration.
Online Self-Help Resources
There are multiple resources out there for people who are interested in attempting self-help. Aside from just turning to books, people have also turned to the internet for help and guidance in their journey of self-help. Some of the online resources that people use include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This self-help course is especially helpful to individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression, and anger. The best way to use this course is to follow each step over a couple days.
Step 1: To start out with you will begin to notice your feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. On a daily basis we notice them but we don’t usually question why we reacted a certain way. You’ll typically answer questions such as: “What distressing emotions/reactions did you feel?” “What did you do?” “How did you cope with the feelings you were feeling?” The more you practice noticing you feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, the more you’ll see helpful and effective changes in your mood, body, and behavior.
Step 2: Look for cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are the allusions resulting from the primitive parts of your brain. You don’t notice this, but you use this part of your brain every day; you just never think about the absurd nature of the understandings. It’s key to start discerning these negative thoughts because the emotional brain is too overpowering, making it hard for us analyze our current situation correctly.
You may feel an intense urge to identify with some of your compulsive thoughts and feelings. It will take a lot of willpower and patience to overcome and comprehend this nature of your emotions. Once you spot the cognitive distortions, it will be easy for you to dismiss them for what they are.
Step 3: Dealing with your cognitive distortions. This step is quite possibly one of the most important because if you notice that you possess any cognitive distortions, you need to get control of them. There are ten different distortions that psychologists have identified. A few of those include all or nothing thinking, overgeneralization, the tendency to dwell on small situations, and thinking you have supernatural abilities.
To analyze these thoughts correctly, it’s important to write down what you’ve experienced and continue to interpret what it means. Include three main parts: cause of the negative thought, side effects if you continue on with this mindset, and how you can change the thought into something positive.
There are numerous types of online resources for people to try. One in particular is known as The Positive Approach. This course was made to help provide you with a healthy mindset and how to take advantage of your full potential. You are given new lessons each week that can apply to your everyday life, making it a very valuable resource for anyone looking to gain a better perspective on their life.
Aside, from these two ways listed, there is a wide range of tools for people to use for self-help. Each resource offers something different, making each resource work differently for different individuals.