Psychological self-help is the process of attempting to improve one's psychological state, particularly when faced with disorders such as depression, without the help a psychologist or other counseling services. One may choose self-help over professional aid because of financial concerns, out of pride, or for a variety of other personal, cultural, or religious reasons. One major aspect of psychological self-help is identifying the psychological problems that one wants to address. Upon doing so, there are many different methods that one can use to improve one's mental health. These include controlling and improving one's environment, working to improve physical health, and fostering a mindset based on positive thinking.
Education is one of the most important steps for successful psychological self-help. People suffer from a broad spectrum of psychological problems, and it is not possible to treat each one the same way. Someone who has issues with anger, for instance, may not respond well to the same type of psychological self-help that has positive effects for someone who suffers from depression. Examining the psychological areas that one wishes to improve upon and setting goals based on those areas can allow for a much more direct and focused approach to addressing one's problems. Failure to research and identify one's specific problems may lead to a disjointed and nebulous approach to self-help that is considerably less effective than a more direct approach.
Upon determining the general nature of the psychological elements that one wants to improve, there are many different psychological self-help methods to consider. Environmental factors can have a significant effect on mental health, so trying to make sure that one's environment is clean, safe, and orderly is, for many, a particularly effective method of psychological self-help. In some cases, controlling one's environment also means distancing oneself from people who regularly cause anger, sadness, or other unpleasant emotions.
Physical health has a strong impact on psychological health, so exercising regularly is an often-beneficial method of psychological self-help. Having a healthy body tends to make one feel more energetic and better overall. Avoiding excessive indulgence in alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs can also improve physical health and lead to better mental health.
Working to consciously build a positive mindset is another essential part of psychological self-help. Anger, depression, and other mental disturbances thrive on negative thinking. Whether or not one actually feels good, it is important to try to think and act in a positive manner at all times. Over time, repetition may turn positive thought and action into a habit, thereby drastically affecting the way that one interacts with the world.