Self Help makes you feel worse?

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Mr Green

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Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post04 Jul 2009

BBC wrote:Self-help 'makes you feel worse

Canadian researchers found those with low self-esteem actually felt worse after repeating positive statements about themselves. They said phrases such as "I am a lovable person" only helped people with high self-esteem. The study appears in the journal Psychological Science.

A UK psychologist said people based their feelings about themselves on real evidence from their lives. The suggestion people should "help themselves" to feel better was first mooted by Victorian Samuel Smiles 150 years ago. His book, called simply "Self Help", sold a quarter of a million copies and included guidance such as: "Heaven helps those who help themselves".

Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as individuals with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most, said Joanne Wood of University of Waterloo

Self-help is now a multi-billion pound global industry.

Real life

The researchers, led by psychologist Joanne Wood, said: "Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as individuals with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most."
However, they say positive thinking can help when it is part of a broader programme of therapy.

Simon Delsthorpe, a psychologist with Bradford District Care Trust and spokesman for the British Psychological Society, said self-esteem was based on a range of real life factors, and that counselling to build confidence - rather than telling yourself things are better than they are - was the solution.

"These are things like, do you have close family relationships, a wide network of friends, employment and appearance.
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ex-l

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post04 Jul 2009

Very good post Mr Green. Very interesting. Funny how the BKWSU, despite 70 years and multi-millions of Dollars spent later, still have not produced one proper researched, independent and scientific study of their practise.

But you can see which bit they did see, as with all their Inner Space shops and corporate guru spin offs ...
Self-help is now a multi-billion pound global industry.
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ex-l

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post04 Jul 2009

Very good post Mr Green. Very interesting. Funny how the BKWSU, despite 70 years and multi-millions of Dollars spent later, still have not produced one proper researched, independent and scientific study of their practise.

But you can see which bit they did see, as with all their Inner Space shops and corporate guru spin offs ...
Self-help is now a multi-billion pound global industry.

You raise a very important issue about the "one size fits all" ... "if something goes wrong, do more Yoga" approach. What this research says is ... IT DOES NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE AND IT MAKE SOME OR MANY WORSE.

How many BKs would you separate as being "high esteem" and how many "low esteem"?

In a way, it is better for the BKs if those people DO feel worse ... because at that point they will commit even harder. So where is the internal checking mechanism? Is there any? There seem to me to be more of an 'internal exploiting mechanism' amongst the leadership ... a keeping an eye out for individuals that they are able to take advantage of.

"Oh, so you have two houses ... really? How nice! (Thinks, must remember that for later when it come to looking for a new center).
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lokila

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post04 Jul 2009

Now that I've come to think about it: when one has low self esteem, they do not value their thoughts. The power of thinking and ability to discriminate is handed over to others, whom they think are far much more intelligent and better than they are.

So when I have low self esteem I do not believe myself, I do not give myself credits and do not believe my thoughts are of any value. Now what is the effect when I stand in front of the mirror and say to myself: "I am a lovable person."
I feel ridiculous and I do not believe a word if it! So I confront myself with my own inability because I already know I am worthless. Repeating to myself I am the opposite confronts me even more with the fact I feel stupid.

ex-l wrote:How many BKs would you separate as being "high esteem" and how many "low esteem"?

Approximately 1 percent - 99 percent

It's a very valuable insight. Thanks for this post.
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duty bound

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post05 Jul 2009

THE AWAKENING"

A time comes in your life when you finally get it ... when in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella (after the Ball) and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or did not do for you), and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself; and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers ... and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world ... and that you cannot teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love. And you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms ... just to make you happy.

And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up." You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want ... and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect; and you won't settle for less. And you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch ... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our
soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part in life you get what you believe you deserve ... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life is not always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes -- bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that G*D is not punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -- the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the Earth can only dream about ... a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself ... by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever, settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with G*D by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

Author Unknown, but are "true words of wisdom.
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rayoflight

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post05 Jul 2009

So beautiful. Thank you dutybound.
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ex-l

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post06 Jul 2009

duty bound wrote:You stop judging and pointing fingers ... and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

The author seems to be Denise M. "Sonny" Carroll from The Moment of Clarity and the work is ©. Its something to do with the Alcoholic Anonymous movement. I don't know that, I just did a Google and came up with pages of copies.

It might be good advice for recovering alcoholics and their co-dependent victims. Its all quite "current BK". Like everything, it has limits to how far one should apply it.

One of the problems is that not everyone is nice and honest like you. There are some people, some leaders, some organizations that are constantly encroaching on the rest of society and if no one addresses their behaviour they will take keep taking over other people's lives and, finally, society.

One could answer with the other beautiful sentiment voiced in the poem "When they came", written about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. What happens if "when they came" everyone "stop judging and pointing fingers, began to accept people as they are and overlooked their shortcomings". Well, that's is what happened and 2.5 million plus Jews died and 50 million plus others.

This is the part of religion the Brahma Kumari leadership is teaching. Funnily enough, it is not really the religion of the Murlis which is full of criticism and finger pointing. In a way, I feel the Brahma Kumari leadership is teaching it because it is what they want of their followers; not to be questioned, not to be judged, to be allowed to progress unhindered ... and having submissive, disempowered adherents allows them to do so. Of course, one might argue it is not so much the Brahma Kumaris that want this, mostly they fairly simple to me ... but the spooks they are mediums for.

Duty, do you feel like actually discussing things with us, engaging with us, rather than just publishing your articles here? What makes this forum unique is that we interact, not just broadcast. How do you square these two points of view?
Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) wrote:When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not protest;
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.
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rayoflight

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post06 Jul 2009

Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) wrote: When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

This is a chilling poem.

The last part is what hopefully makes people stand up and have courage eventually. Standing up for each other is what separates the brave souls from the cowards.
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duty bound

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post06 Jul 2009

Point taken and I shall give this some thought.
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starchild

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post06 Jul 2009

ex-l wrote:if "when they came" everyone "stop judging and pointing fingers, began to accept people as they are ... well that is what happened and 2.5 million jews and 50 million others died

In general, 'Awakening" does contain words of wisdom of realizations that we may have during our lives. But reading it will not, I think, actually bring a person to the realizations. We seem to come to realizations through life experiences in our own time. It would be nice if we could read a self help manual and apply it. But we do not seem to work like that for the most part. And they would not, as ex-l points out, be appropriate responses in all situations.

The poem "When they came" points that out quite clearly. And although the poem is so simple, it is chilling and strikes fairly deep. But I would question how many, in a situation requiring the ultimate courage, even with that poem in front of them, would stand up and be counted. Perhaps I am too cynical.

At the same time, I think, in everyday life, the majority of people are reasonably good people, and the "stop judging and pointing fingers" advice is probably intended for those stuck in a phase of bitterness and blame.

The findings of the research into self- help is obvious, even though I have read as many, or more than any one else who have had struggles in life. I have been appalled by seeing the likes of the Oprah Winfrey shows with her angel networks etc. telling people that they change anything by having a positive thought. I do not think her charities are unhelpful of themselves. I just picture the poor in the ghettoes of America, or in a war torn region in Africa, listening to these self-help gurus and getting any solutions. By the same token, she and her self-help guests perhaps help people to some extent, like the research shows, those who are for the most part, pretty sorted anyway.

The Brahma Kumaris positive thinking is another story. Because it is used as a means of getting to the spiritual aspect of one's being, linking into that spiritual aspect and controlling and using people accordingly, it becomes more serious than the self-help manual; which one can pick up and put down.

Especially where there is secrecy and dishonesty, again, as ex-l points out can happen in organizations and leadership (... this may be off topic, sorry, but it is a graphic example of secrecy in the BK organization).

Before the past year (when I found this forum), I had never heard of PBKs, Vishnu Party, et al. I do not want to read the details for the moment. To me, it is going from the sublime to the ridiculous. Now this 'God' is claimed to be speaking through other channels, or if it is not, and the others are false; why would 'God' not speak out about it from the stage in Madhuban. Like I say from the sublime to the ridiculous. I gather that it has been going since 1976 or so. Right through all my time with the BKs, and I knew nothing.

I would have thought, that most people (as I was) are a little wary to get too deeply involved with any organization. I think if there had been such widespread internet access, and sites like this, in the late eighties, I would have been even more cautious.

Just wondering if it is not affecting the recruitment?
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Mr Green

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post06 Jul 2009

Back to the article, I definitely think this is true, I experienced it.

I remember being in the depths of depression, and saying to myself, "I am a peaceful soul etc" and knowing full well I wasn't that, that has got to be bad for you.
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starchild

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post06 Jul 2009

Mr Green wrote:That has got to be bad for you

Yes, it seems so obvious. Unfortunately when you are in the depths of depression, you can get desperate and clutch at anything. And when it does not work that is another failure to clock up. Another thing that works for others but not for me. That is why the well intentioned opening the arms to "God" can be devastating for the ones (possibly the ones who need it most) who the light does not descend upon. They do not come back to report. More likely they crawl back under a stone. Thinking "even God does not want me."

But is the article implying that if I am feeling better, and my self-esteem is good that this sort of thinking will work. Or should I just be glad I am feeling better and leave the whole thing alone?
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lokila

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post07 Jul 2009

Mr Green wrote:saying to myself, "I am a peaceful soul etc" and knowing full well I wasn't that, that has got to be bad for you.

In two cases, I was the witness of very dear friends 'caught' by a severe depression. And from that experience, I can say that it seems essential to try and find out what is the cause of it. In one case, it seemed to be something genetic, a clinical depression: after two years of experimenting with medicine, finally there was a medication that helped very well to restore the physical balance in the brain. Although the scars are still present and the fear it will happen again is vivid.

The second case was a traumatic one, referring to second generation Jews, parents survived Auschwitz, and got pretty mad. Although I love those people very much, and I tried to make them feel that I love them and tried to convince them they are wonderful human beings, they stayed 'under a glass bell' at that time (thanks Sylvia Plath - author of the book). Positive thinking, care from friends and family ... nothing seemed to be able to enter this ' glass bell'.

So I agree fully with ex-l,
IT DOES NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE AND IT MAKE SOME OR MANY WORSE.

Just repeating positive thoughts can have the opposite effect. It just reminded my friends of how much they failed to be able to think and feel this way about themselves, so they felt worse. First: find out what is the cause is. No one is helped by 'one recipe for all', it just does not exist. In the Murli, it would be formulated as 'feel the pulse', but thinking everyone will be cured by receiving 'The Knowlegde' of being a lovely soul and Baba will be their saviour is so innocent and arrogant at the same time. Bombing someone with thoughts about the peaceful soul and the ocean of love, is not 'feeling the pulse', it's quite the opposite.
starchild wrote:Or should I just be glad I am feeling better

Yes!
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alladin

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self suggestion

Post11 Jul 2009

Hi. First simple thing that came to my mind as I was reading posts on this interesting topic, is that "self-suggestion", positive thinking, hypnosis, and various old and new "secrets", contain in themselves a seed that is probably responsible for bearing the fruit of failures that necessarily occur in some percentage. This seed is called artificiality, pretense, denial, sweeping the dust under the carpet, being out of touch.

On this Forum also, many of us chat about topics as amateur psychologists, but informally and free of charge. We share opinions, we relate our experiences, we guess, try to separate benefits we received from what we considered a spiritual path, from things that went wrong ... but do not try to sell any truth to others.

Out there, the Kaliyugi ocean is full of sharks and braggarts, incompetent, no scruples, some times well meaning, but it is a totally "swim at your own risk" situation. Some individuals who get hooked by self-help gurus, see their lives improve, transform themselves and manage to fly, hopefully never crashing down, but some end up jumping out of a window, with no parachute.

I am comfortable with the idea that there is an original self that wants to express itself freely and needs nourishment and empowerment, that eventually I/we will get there. What I have become skeptical about, over the years, is the BK org and systems as vehicle to transport me there safely and quickly. Many contradictory directions and messages, much suppression of personality and induction of guilty feelings.

I perceive the BK environment increasingly (due to entropy ;) ??? ) unhealthily, like a "Jamela", chaos, rather than the easy straight forward Raja Yoga path they advertise to be teaching!!
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TobyJensen

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Re: Self Help makes you feel worse?

Post29 Dec 2016

Self-help makes you feel worse. Yes, it is supposed too. In a good way. That pain helps us to change. Especially since nobody wants to change. Yeah. Let’s be honest here. If given the choice of whether to change and remain constant – even Newton’s Law says – people will remain in their current state.

What you focus on expands. If you only focus on what you feel without helping yourself through it then the depression only just gets worse. Focus on feeling your feelings to do something about it instead. Then you get through it.

If you want to change your feelings, you have to feel your feelings.

Here is a short process that took forever to figure out.

The example to start with is that forgiveness cures anger. If someone is angry and they forgive them then their anger dissolves away. It is not repressed or denied. It is simply gone. It takes emotion to resolve emotion. This is the basis of gutap. And the best anger management there is around.

When someone is angry they naturally direct their feeling of forgiveness into their feeling of anger. The two emotions once connect are resolved. False beliefs often have a couple of emotions that have to work together. This makes the work complicated but not impossible.

Gutap – The three steps described:
    1 – Feel the feeling of your limiting belief. If you want to change your feelings you have to feel them. (Everyone already knows this step.)

    2 – Insight: Find what the positive answer is that it actually wants you to know. What does your limited belief want you to know that is positive? What is the good thing it wants for you but trying in a negative way? (A slight shift on the insight people are seeking.)

    3 – Connect the feeling of what it wants you to know and let the feeling of that answer flow into the feeling of your limiting belief to change it. The positive feelings change your limiting beliefs – not you.
That is the simplest way to describe how deep, inner change works.
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