Psychological Self-Help

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Also, remember that many skills, such as tennis or public speaking,
are performed better if you can relax and "just let it flow." That is self-
acceptance, mistakes and all. 
Attitudes that help us cope with crises
Do you have the stability and internal strength to weather crises? Can
you see some potential good in almost any bad situation? Well
adjusted, secure, self-actualized people handle crises without
depression or bitterness. Such people may, in fact, become more
sensitive and caring, less vindictive, and wiser, while others are
crippled by the same crisis. How do they do this? They seem to have a
"center" core of calm, optimism, personal faith, and tolerance
that helps them weather emotional storms. There is also the concept
of "centering" which (a) involves finding the middle ground between
opposites so one can have a balanced, clear view of an issue, (b)
removing yourself from stresses so you can find peace, as in
meditation, and (c) building a solid center of self-esteem so one is not
self-critical or buffeted by contradictory reactions from others. By
withdrawing into our "center," we can "settle down" and avoid many
destructive emotions. 
There are several attitudes that help people cope with crises
and problems:
The "so what if" technique. If you are worried about
something bad happening, ask yourself, "So what, if this
happens?" Many people create their own anxieties, e.g. "What if
I make a fool of myself?," "What if they get mad at me?," or
"What if he/she left me?" These "what if..." questions imply a
terrible outcome, but realistically it may not be so bad. So, to
reduce some of the worries, ask yourself two questions
(Lazarus, 1971): 
How big an "if" is in "what if"? How likely is this event
I'm worrying about? How often have you worried about
things that never happened? 
So what if (this awful thing) actually happens? Would it
be so terrible? Could some good come of it? Do others
see it differently? 
If the event is unlikely, minor, or something you can't
prepare for, stop worrying (see thought stopping in chapter
If the event is likely, major, and something you can prepare
for, figure out the best way to handle it, make preparations
(like role playing), and then forget it. Don't waste time
worrying. Some people feel better by asking themselves, "What
is the worst that could happen?" and telling themselves "I could
handle it" or "it could be worse, I could be handicapped." 
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