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Self-Help Resources

Don't know how? Here's how!

Break a Habit, Stop Smoking, Ease Anxiety, Manage Drinking, Performance Enhancement, Regain Self-Esteem, and Much More.

Helping yourself towards a meaningfully improved life

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Background

Most of us are simply never taught strategies for surviving life, let alone mastering it or benefiting from it. Consequently what we achieve in life, what we experience, our levels of satisfaction, and our happiness in life become something of an act of luck.
The recent history of psychology and the emergence of the concept of therapeutic change has produced a virtual explosion of interesting philosophies, therapies, approaches, processes, and activities for self-help. The result is a somewhat bewildering range of practices and theories, some psychological, some spiritual, about how to go about being human. This is a great step forward and we have never before had so many resources available to us, and we have never before had so much potential confusion of suggestion and supply just at those times when what we need is a clear and simple way forward to help us on our way.
That is basically why I am producing these self-help guides, to try and indicate what might be worth trying and what may a little less useful.

Three Basic Tools

There are 3 primary tools (see below) that I use in almost everything that I do, and knowing a little about these will usually allow me to start any process of individual change: a conscious act of Life Improvement. I also describe these tools in relation to life-long-learning elsewhere on this website.
Each of the 3 primary tools include specific processes (step-based instructions to achieve a given aim), approaches, theories, and indeed definitions. I shall introduce the tools in a very general way so that I can pass on a pragmatic understanding of what they are rather than an academic description.

Critical Thinking

I think of this as an approach to thinking that can improve our way of appreciating life and which gives us an ability to be able to judge the value of choices that are always available to us. In addition to a skill that can accelerate personal development, it is essential for academic study and also for philosophy, ethics, and moral decision-making. Adopting Critical Thinking leads on the development of our own Critical Wisdom.
Critical Thinking combines using rational and repeatable thinking with clear-minded decision-making, it is one of the basic approaches used in successful Cognitive Therapy. In this website I describe a number of specific processes that are designed to help clear confused thinking, to recognise the reality of a situation, to discern future intentions and purposes, to motivate us to achieve our goals, and so on.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is often described as the adption of meditational techniques as a means of long-term self-enlightenment. I use a wider description which is basically to develop self-awareness through a range of techniques including self-reflection, meditation, and hypnotherapy so that we gain insight about our experience of being alive and can more readily generate specific states of mind that support us towards achieveing our goals.
Mindfulness can start with simple breathing or intentional exercising but extends to deep explorations of self and the adoption of life-long habits and interests.

Theory of Mind

Theory of Mind is basically an understanding of what goes on in our own and other people's minds. Theory of Mind can be used to motivate, to communicate, to comprehend, to forgive, to inspire. Theory of Mind is importantly the understanding that makes sense of social interactions and supports the successful and productive use of both Critical Thinking and Mindfulness.
Despite the huge advances of human research in recent years there is no single Theory of Mind. We have some highly detailed understandings of how the human brain and body work and we have some powerful descriptions of what can go on in the human mind, but none of these give us a whole picture. Theory of Mind can even be thought of as our own personal invention, the way that we personally think the world works in physical, social, psychological, and spiritual ways. I think of my own Theory of Mind of consisting of a whole series of simulations or models of how our mind may usefully be described in different situations. All simulations (such as forecasting the weather) are simplifications of reality and hence have limitations but are useful because simulations can be used make our predict our way forward and can be extended over time to more realistically represent those aspects of social life that are important to us. It is our Theory of Mind that needs to change when we become entrenched in our thinking. It is our Theory of Mind that needs to change when we find ourselves stuck in mental discomfort. It is our extended Theory of Mind that allows us to move forward.