Happiness and Self-Help

Happiness and Self-Help

Happiness is closely aligned with the self-help movement and as such, I sometimes have concerns that what some, within the self-help movement recommend may not actually lead to happiness.

With this, and your happiness in mind, I bring you this interesting article from Psychology Today…

Shattering the Top 5 Self-Help Myths

by Psychology Today

September 25, 2007

It’s no surprise that America, land of second chances, fabled site of self-invention, also harbors an endless appetite for self-help. From Poor Richard to Dale Carnegie to Tony Robbins, we love the idea that we can fix what’s broken by ourselves, without the expensive ministrations of doctor or shrink. The limits of HMOs, and the limitlessness of the Internet, have lately made self-help even more appealing: Americans spent $563 million on self-help books last year, and surfed more than 12,000 Web sites devoted to mental health. An estimated 40% of all health-related Internet inquiries are on mental health topics, and depression is the number one most researched illness on the Web.

In the spirit of pioneers, we”re concocting our own remedies and salving our own wounds. But is it good medicine? Once the preserve of charlatans and psychobabblers, self-help has undergone its own reinvention, emerging as a source of useful information presented by acknowledged authorities. That’s not to say snake oil isn”t still for sale. Often, the messages of self-help books tend to be vast oversimplifications, misrepresenting a part of the truth for the whole, as the following list of popular misconceptions and distortions demonstrates.

The antidote – the “good” kind of self-help, grounded in research – is also available to those who help themselves. Just keep in mind that even the best self-help may be too simplistic to manage complex problems, and that research, with its emphasis on straight science, may not always offer a clear course of action.

To read more – click here.