Personal Development

Self-Help Tips That Are Not Really Helping

Feeling frustrated

Myth: Don’t think about a distressing event, and it’ll go away.

Fact: The idea here is: “Why bring up anything painful from the past? It’s time to move on! You will feel so much better,” said Julie Lopez, PhD, LICSW, a psychotherapist and executive director of The Viva Center. As a results-oriented therapist, Lopez focuses on here-and-now goals and appreciates the importance of refocusing on the present.

However, that’s not how our bodies work, she said. Every experience, whether good or bad, seeks expression, she explained. A distressing experience might include everything from a car crash to a breakup. It needs to be “processed and put to rest.”

Myth: Release anger regularly, so you don’t snap.

Fact: We tend to feel better after screaming or hitting a pillow or punching bag, said psychology professor Vince Favilla. “On a surface level, it seems to work.” However, this kind of behavior trains our brain to see violence as a solution to anger, he said. “Sure, it probably won’t escalate to hitting another person, but why take chances when there are demonstrably better alternatives?” Also, sometimes we’re just not in a place where we can scream or hit something.

Myth: Take X amount of time to heal from grief.

Fact: “We can’t simply set a timer and then once we hit the six-month mark, poof! All of our grief will have magically disappeared,” said Casey Radle, LPC, a therapist who specializes in anxiety, depression and self-esteem at Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, Texas. Bereavement doesn’t work this way.

“The pain of losing a loved one never really goes away. It might lessen or shift over time, but it will never [completely] go away.” Losing a loved one alters us forever. We’ll never be the same because life isn’t the same without that person, Radle said.

Read the full article at: Self-Help Tips that Are Anything But Helpful

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