Self Help Ideas and Exercises: Part 1

by | August 01, 2019

Dr. Zwig Inner Work Exercises and Contemplations

There can be no personal growth work without social consciousness.⁣

Lately, I’ve been seeing some online posts that say things like you should accept the present moment as if you chose it, and you should welcome and embrace your situation and just be present with it, etc.⁣

I understand and support the notion of embracing fate but only in the context of being a free individual.⁣

Beyond this you enter into the realm of things like abuse, rape, torture, slavery, genocide, etc.⁣

Should victims of these horrors tell themselves to just be present and accept the situation as if they chose it?⁣

I’m sure the folks saying these things mean no harm and are simply unaware of the implications of their statements but it’s appalling to hear such things.⁣

Where does this lack of social awareness in the personal growth movement come from?

First, many of the ideas and methods for self improvement are derived from ancient practices that don’t have a history of social consciousness or charity work; they focus exclusively on the individual. But since the individual can’t be separated from the social, these practices have limitations.⁣

Second, personal growth work, especially in the West, is purely a product of privilege—social, political, economic, and psychological.⁣

If you live in an oppressive / abusive situation, personal growth work takes a back seat to survival.⁣

I sincerely hope that people who teach self-help methods begin to include social processes, power, rank, resources, etc. in the equation!

Dr. Zwig Inner Work Exercises and Contemplations

Feel lost, lonely, and disconnected? The solution lies within.⁣

Try this:⁣

Visualize someone else who’s lonely, for example, an abandoned child sitting on the street corner.⁣

Talk to him / her and listen to the responses.⁣

Ask what he / she needs.⁣

Then identify how you need to give this to yourself in some way.⁣

For example, if the child is hungry, or needs a hug, or wants to play, or wants to create something, or needs love, meditate on how YOU need this.⁣

What are you hungry for that you’re ignoring?⁣

How do you need to nurture yourself?⁣

How do you need to have more fun?⁣

How do you need to be creative?⁣

How do you need to give yourself love?⁣

It might be none of these things; only the inner figure can direct you to what you need.⁣

Loneliness happens when you abandon yourself in some way.⁣

You focus and behave in a way that ignores your deeper, true feelings.⁣

The work is to identify your real needs and act on them.

Dr. Zwig Inner Work Exercises and Contemplations

Don’t get locked into a bad state of mind by convincing yourself you can’t get out of it.⁣

Self talk is the most powerful form of hypnosis, and you have the power to either tighten your mood’s grip on you, or loosen and change it.⁣

If you feel down, anxious, afraid, stressed, etc., the most self-defeating, depressing thing you can do is think of it as something you’re stuck with because it’s just how you are, or it’s a “chemical imbalance,” or you haven’t been able to get out of it in the past, or uncle John has the same problem, or it’s your fault and you deserve it, or God’s mad at you, etc.⁣

This is the #1 way to feed your bad state. It’s like saying, “I accept being your victim, do whatever you want to me, I embrace you, and I suppoprt you to hurt me.”⁣

When you’re in a bad frame of mind there’s a good frame of mind right there at the fringes of your awareness; you just need to tap into it. But if you convince yourself you can’t, then you can’t!⁣

So, how can you change your state of mind?

Here’s one of many ways:⁣

1. Acknowledge and name it. “I’m in a depressed, anxious, fearful, stressed mood.”⁣

2. Close your eyes, breath slowly and deeply, and focus on your breaths for a minute.⁣

3. Now remember a time when you were in an incredibly high, awesome state of mind. Alternately, think of what state of mind you’d be in if you felt great right now.⁣

4. Focus on this uplifting state: See it, feel it, be it, get totally into what it feels like, and amplify it. Spend time with it.⁣

5. Open your eyes and walk around in this new state of mind. Get it into your body.⁣

6. When your bad state tries to return and overpower your good state, or when your inner critic says, “This is just fantasy, it’s a waste of time,” keep saying No. Insist on the good state. You’ll develop inner strength this way, and set yourself up to process the deeper issues behind your troubles.

Dr. Zwig Inner Work Exercises and Contemplations

There is no one way or path to healing and growth.

True change isn’t a matter of telling yourself how to be, for example, calm, relaxed, centered, strong, happy, loving, peaceful, forgiving, understanding, compassionate, non-attached, free of your ego, accepting, independent, or revved up and determined, tough, persistent, relentless, etc.⁣

It’s a matter of connecting with who you really are in a given moment.⁣

You have to process what you actually feel, not try to feel something different.⁣

What you feel right now is the seed for discovering the real direction you should be moving in.⁣

Just trying to emulate images of success, health, enlightenment, higher consciousness, etc, is like attempting to change your life by changing your wardrobe; putting a new image on yourself might help a bit, but it misses the mark.⁣

Your goal should be to discover and develop your authentic self, not to become an image of how someone else says you should be.⁣

Your authentic self IS this healthy, enlightened, successful person.⁣

Your healing and growth will look totally different from everyone else’s.⁣

Believe in your own way.

Dr. Zwig

©2021 Dr. Adam Zwig

Meet Dr. Adam Zwig—psychologist-musician, educator, and author. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology, has had 9 Top Ten hit singles on the U.S Adult Contemporary charts, and is an internationally renowned workshop leader and lecturer. He has been featured on Billboard, SiriusXM Radio, CBS Radio, and many other stations, and in People Magazine, Pollstar, and many other publications. Dr. Zwig has released 7 albums, has songs on NBC, Fox, and Fuel TV, and has garnered over 130 million views on YouTube. His forthcoming book, Music in the Mayhem: Tales of Total Transformation from a Rock n Roll Psychologist, shows how life problems are not pathological but rather personal growth processes trying to happen. His podcast, The Dr. Zwig Show, posts new episodes every Wednesday.

DISCLAIMER: The content contained herein is for inspirational, educational, and entertainment purposes only. Nowhere in this Blog does Dr. Zwig diagnose or treat a viewer with any kind of psychological, mental, emotional or physical disorder as might be diagnosed and treated by a personal psychologist or other professional advisor. The content is not intended to be a substitute for working with a therapist but is for the purpose of educating the viewer about new approaches to working on personal problems. Viewers should use this Blog at their own risk, with the understanding that Dr. Zwig is not liable for its impact or effect on its users. Viewing this Blog does not form a practitioner/client relationship between the viewer and Dr. Zwig. Dr. Zwig is not responsible for any action taken by a viewer based upon any information in this Blog. Never disregard professional medical advice or stop taking psychiatric medication based on something you have read on this Blog without a doctor’s supervision and ongoing therapeutic support. Dr. Zwig is an educator, author, and life coach in the U.S., and a psychotherapist in Switzerland. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology. He is also a rock n roll musician.