Psychological Self-Help

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Determinism or humanism. A deterministic view of how the
world operates can make one more tolerant of oneself, more accepting
of others, and more hopeful of the future (method #4 in chapter 14).
Self-acceptance may also come from a humanistic viewpoint in which
each person is intrinsically respected, valued, and loved. Each human
is different and makes an important unique contribution to the world
(Jampolsky, 1979; Buscaglia, 1972). 
Religion. Finding comfort in a religion and acceptance in support
groups has helped many people overcome depression. Every
community has several religious communities. There are many self-
help groups (or you can start one). There are also televangelists,
many religious writers, and spiritually oriented psychologists, such as
Jampolsky (1985) and Peck (1993). See the discussion of self-help
groups in chapter 5 and religion in chapter 14. 
Look to the future. Sometimes the heavy weight of today's
burden is lightened by asking: What will life be like next month? in six
months? in a year? in five years? in ten years? All things change.
Given a more distant perspective, there may be less gloom and more
Talk yourself up. As with anger, we can learn to interpose
positive thoughts or self-instructions between the disturbing event and
our emotional reaction so that the sadness is reduced. For instance, as
discussed in chapter 14, suppose you have just been told by your
boy/girlfriend that they want to terminate the relationship. How can
you reduce the pain and depression? The pain can't be avoided but it
may be dulled and shortened a little. Look for positive aspects: "At
least a decision has been made" and "It's good that I found out now
about her/his being unsatisfied, rather than after we were married."
Look for your good points: "I'm proud of how I handled the
relationship" and "I didn't try to just be what he/she wanted; I want
someone to love the real me." Look for support from others: "All my
friends will support me; some didn't think he/she was a good choice
for me any way." Look for a positive future: "I will be a better
companion in the future and I know a lot more about what I want in a
What seems nasty, painful, or evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if
faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him/her who has the vision to
recognize it as such.
-Henry Miller
If a loss can be anticipated (like a death), realistically facing the
situation, discussing it with others, and emotionally "working through"
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