Mythical Monday – Self-help!

 

There is nothing wrong with a little self-help. In the end, you need to live with your illness or troubles or past or stress. I would presume, people do what they can think of to make their life better no? That’s just nature.

 

Trying to better you situation will also be the case for some people trying to catch and mislead people who are suffering. They sell false information or mostly half-truths for their own gain in the form of adoration, attention, money, status, greed, ego, I don’t know what else. Fact is that when you’re ill, you need to be careful!

 

The other kind, the good kind of self-help, grounded in research  is also available to those who help themselves. Just keep in mind that even the best self-help may be too simplistic to manage complex problems, and that research, with its emphasis on straight science, may not always offer a clear course of action.

 

With that all being said, let’s bust some myths!

 

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Myth: When you’re down, think yourself happy by focusing on the positive.

 

Self-Help:  “You need to go on a mental diet. I did this several years ago. I was going through unbelievable pain at the time… What turned it around, is one day I picked up this book called The 7 Day Mental Diet, it was a little tiny booklet and all that book really did was challenge me if I, for 7 days, could live my life without one negative thought. When you have a negative thought, you don’t speak it or you erase it. You forget it. You focus immediately on something positive. You can’t believe what it will do for your life”. [1]

 

 

Research shows that when we’re anxious or stressed, when we need a mood boost, our minds become unable to provide one. That’s because we’re so preoccupied with our troubles that we don’t have enough brainpower left to suppress negative thoughts. And when we try to distract ourselves, pessimistic notions are the only ones that come to mind. “If you’re really under stress, putting yourself in a good mood by thinking positive thoughts becomes not only difficult — in fact it backfires, and you get the opposite of what you want,” says Daniel Wegner, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Virginia.

 

Myth busted: In an experiment, Wegner asked a group of people to put themselves in a good mood, which they did, fairly easily. But when they were also told to keep a nine-digit number in mind, they actually felt worse. The energy they had available to control their mood was reduced by the effort of remembering the number.

 

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Better would be: “You have to enlist the help of other people,” Wegner says. “Talk to friends or relatives or a therapist, or anyone else who might be able to help you think about other things.” Or go to a place where people are enjoying themselves, like a party or the park or the mall, and you’ll soon feel your spirits lift. Think about what can help you to feel better, practice self-care for you and do what you need in that moment.

Finally, if you know in advance that you’re going to be upset or anxious about something, make a list of positive things that you can refer to when you need it most. You can have a photograph in your purse of your loved one, or you can put your favorite smell on your handkerchief. Just do one small thing for you, so you can cross that of your list. And when it doesn’t work, don’t fight it. Let it be and this too shall pass.

 

 

Resources.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB6yxZ5w1j8

Full article click here.

 

11 thoughts on “Mythical Monday – Self-help!

    1. Mostly it’s crap 🙂 Just yesterday I found an article about ‘integrative’ psychiatry. Maybe some anger can do you good? Just proposing something …
      I’ll be writing some more about those myths but I see some smart people that use those things, so sometimes I just wonder if I’m not ‘open’ enough. I give it one sec of thought and indeed, I can’t be accepting of that. Maybe I miss out but it’s not for me, all the woo woo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have very low tolerance for the woo woo. I’ve been doing some reading about stigma lately and “righteous anger” is a contructive response, so sure, anger can absolutely be good!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I’m done with fixing and all in accepting mood. I just stumble upon those gems that are being projected into the world wide web. The best ones are presented in bullet points!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think the first element of any help must be “self” – just to start the ball rolling. After that, you take your chances. The analogy I think of is with dieting – there must be a million diets out there, but most of them don’t lead to weight loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they do, you’ll weigh less in the wallet! And that is guaranteed with no money back.
      I like your analogy as it fits very well. I just don’t understand how they make this things up. I’ll discuss some other next Monday and I silently hope that someone comes forward explaining me how it does work for them. I’m so curious about those myths. I’ve tried everything and nothing worked for me. So now I want to see if I’m just ‘not open to those things’ or maybe I didn’t ‘get’ it. We’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s an interesting reason for why telling people who are down, “Just be positive!” is not actually helpful. I always thought it was because it activated some rebellious circuitry in the brain, sort of like how telling someone not to do something is a great way to make them want to to that very thing! However, it makes sense that if we are in a state where negative emotions and thoughts have overcome our usual defenses, that indicates we no longer have the energy to simply think ourselves into a good mood. I’m impressed that the study was able to simulate that effect with the task of remembering a number too. That was clever and clearly demonstrates the principle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I think it’s good to know that you are just not able to think yourself out of a depression or a very negative state. I tried and I failed, what made it even worse. ‘Can’t I even do that right?’ Now I know it is just not possible in the way that is presented in pop psychology and I feel less guilty about it. I believe that sometimes that kind of advice can make the stigma worse. Thanks for commenting, you’re a loyal reader! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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