Self-help or self-improvement is a self-guided improvement — economically, intellectually, or emotionally — often with a substantial psychological basis.
In psychology, self-help refers to the use of various techniques and strategies by individuals to improve their own mental and emotional well-being without the assistance of a professional. Self-help can include a wide range of activities such as reading self-help books, participating in support groups, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and setting goals.
Examples of self-help in psychology include:
- A person with depression reading self-help books and learning about cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to change negative thought patterns.
- A person with anxiety attending a support group to share their experiences with others who have similar problems and learn coping strategies.
- A person practicing mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and improve focus and attention.
- A person setting goals for themselves to improve their self-esteem, such as learning a new skill, taking up a hobby, or volunteering for a cause they believe in.
Self-help can be an effective way for people to take charge of their own mental and emotional well-being. It can also be a cost-effective and accessible alternative or complement to professional help. However, it's important to note that self-help should not replace professional help when dealing with serious mental health issues, such as severe depression, anxiety or addiction.
It's also important to be cautious when using self-help resources, as not all information and methods may be supported by scientific evidence or may be appropriate for all individuals. It's always recommended to consult with a licensed professional before making any drastic changes in your life.