This brings me to the core of my message.
Mental health advice is bad. If you’re following me on this, I think you’re going to like where we’re heading next.
Ready for the big epiphany I discovered?
Here it is:
The only method I’ve ever found that works in successfully changing my own life is to come across the answer in my own way.
I need to be receptive to the change. I need to want to change.
Here are a few ways to identify when you’ve found mental health guidance, not advice–when you’ve found a collective pool of wisdom that you can dip into and draw from it what you need.
The Information Source is Not Pushy
Does this person, group, entity, etc. let you draw your own conclusions? Do they value what you have to say?
Real change happens because both parties are changed in the process. I get just as much–if not more–from my readers than I give. It’s a wonderful thing.
They’ve Been Where You Want to Go
Is someone telling you how to do something but they’ve never actually done it themselves? I’m not saying they have to have done the exact same thing down to every last detail. I’m saying, have they ever been in a situation that is even remotely close to what you’re struggling with?
If not, that’s a big warning sign, and you’re most likely venturing into the Land of Bad Advice.
Look for people who’ve walked the walk and emerged wiser and softer around the edges. If a person has a chip on their shoulder and is taking out their issues on you, that’s a sign that they’re still in the thick of it and need to do their own work before they help others.
Avoid the Needlessly Complicated
The best kind of mental health guidance is the guidance that just makes sense. Now, this can sound a bit vague, so just hang with me for a second.
Have you ever been around a person who knows just the way to fix your entire life? A person who says that all you need to do is go to the gym on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and have just the right kind of smoothie every morning and make sure that you cut out all bad energy while also journaling two times a day?
I’m sorry, maybe that works for Sir Mentally Healthy, but it doesn’t address the core principles of how you’re even supposed to get started with all that.
Someone who’s been there should know how to break down whatever they’re teaching into core principles. Mental health advice doesn’t do that. Mental health advice comes across as a esoteric lecture and floats right over the head.
Mental health guidance, on the other hand, is offered up to be accepted by whomever needs it.
Guidance is gentle and obvious. Advice is harsh and needlessly complicated.