I’m not a big fan of self-help, because too much of what gets labelled individual sickness is actually just a symptom of a family sickness. As a result, self-help is often irrelevant and sometimes it merely contributes to shame.

However, there are six positive habits I’ve developed that count as self-help. I hope you will consider the reasoning behind these habits, because it may not be the usual “self-help” reasoning that you are used to hearing.

  1. I get outside and feel the sun, the wind and the rain on my skin. I am an animal, and my brain still feels that it is part of a tribe or a family. If I am not moving my body, if I am not feeling the elements of nature on my face, if I am not straining my muscles, then my brain comes to the conclusion that I don’t matter to the tribe any more. And then my brain eventually concludes that maybe it’s time for my body to shut down.
  2. I do not gossip, blame or complain, and I don’t let others gossip, blame or complain to me. My brain thinks that if emotions are high then there must be a good reason for it. If I allow people to complain and blame then my brain concludes that things must be really bad. The end result is anxiety, stomach aches, headaches, chronic pain and/or depression.
  3. I do not eat processed food. My body has concluded that processed food is essentially poison. My sense of taste has also returned, and now I can actually taste the poison.
  4. I do not take responsibility for other peoples’ problems. I cannot make someone else more responsible, because when I take responsibility for their problem it means now they have less responsibility for their own problem.
  5. I say yes when I want to say yes and I say no when I want to say no. I talk directly to the person I need to talk to. If I allow myself to be passive-aggressive or merely submissive, my brain concludes that I am not a valuable member of the tribe. It concludes that I am not powerful, that I am not lovable, and that I am not capable. This leads to blatant self-sabotage.
  6. I do not allow myself to do busywork or to become distracted simply for the sake of being distracted. My brain definitely knows how I feel, and it knows when I feel that what I’m doing isn’t valuable to anyone. And when my brain concludes that my actions are not valuable to other people, my brain also concludes that I am not valuable period.

The primary reason self-help is usually not all that helpful is that my brain doesn’t view me as an individual. Never-the-less, these six habits have transformed my life, and I can practice and repeat these actions alone, as an individual.

Edit: I just realized I should add one more to the list. I read. A lot.