Unlocking Your Potential: A Journey through Self-Help Exercises

By: Alexandra Blockton 


Do you ever wonder what life is like for someone who takes time to complete self-help exercises focused on overcoming issues? These issues can consist of feelings such as depression, procrastination, or a lack of interest related to day-to-day life activities; all while trying to gain the courage to stay motivated. If so, then “Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before,” by Dr. Julie Smith, is an excellent read to share with someone who can benefit from the knowledge inside of it. It has step-by-step guides that explain many techniques to assist in helping someone better their life. The guides include writing practices, meditation techniques, and physical exercises. These are all about mental health concerns that an individual is willing to overcome by themselves.  

When I first glanced at this book, what immediately struck my attention was the title. After reading the title, I thought I would be able to retrieve lots of information I had never heard before, but that is not what had occurred. Although there were numerous topics with which I am familiar, the author’s explanations and directness are what caught my interest. Dr. Smith explains many topics for those interested in how emotions can cause the effects of emotional disturbances in one’s life. For example, goal setting, dealing/coping with failure, stress, self-esteem, and self-doubt. It is a self-help book that has wonderful practices, physical exercises, and writing prompts for journaling. This book would be considered a marvelous helpful tool for someone to express their feelings concerning their emotions and other topics. For instance, at times a student can put their assignments off to the last minute. Then they may have another assignment due, and they begin piling up one by one. This is an issue that can be controlled by oneself with an individual completing the necessary steps. But if that is only if the person gives themselves the necessary time within their life to be productive and beat procrastination. After this, they will be able to overcome what has been holding them back from having complete discipline in their life. They can finally make the steps to move forward. According to Dr. Julie Smith, “Procrastination is something everyone does. It is when we put something off because the job, we need to do triggers a stress reaction, or some other feeling that is aversive.”    

Although every day in life will not be perfect, there is always a way to make it a better day. For example, when school first starts at the beginning of the semester there can be many different feelings of emotions all over the place from numerous individuals in multiple departments. Students are trying to get familiar with their classes and instructors are doing their best to stay within the time limit for their lectures while staying consistent with introducing themselves. As well as students involved with other activities trying to stay in alignment, keeping up with their academics along with the specific activities, they are involved in. There are also faculty members who could be getting used to the recent changes within the new semester. Therefore, those willing to realize that these negative feelings would only be temporary for them could benefit from reading this book. It could reassure them to know that everything will be simply fine for them. Also, if they tend to worry a lot, this book could assist in dissolving those negative thoughts. “Many of us fear emotions until we begin allowing ourselves to experience them and understand that they all rise and fall like waves,” said author Dr. Julie Smith.  

One of the main things I came across while reading this book is that it goes into full detail for someone interested in completing self-help exercises, such as individuals who can learn to be available to write in a journal daily. This can be soothing and therapeutic for them. The most special technique I had come across and enjoyed reading about was the direct question prompts, as well as exercise and meditation prompts while listening to music.  

No one is perfect and many people may tend to experience having a dreadful day or going through a season in life in which they may need some encouragement or a boost of strength. Those moments can help to serve them for the betterment of their lives. Things happen in life and people go through some hard stuff. The most incredible thing is that someone can realize they had a difficult day and are ready to overcome it in a healthier way in the future.  

It does not matter who someone is as people come from many levels of society. Everyone has the power to achieve anything they set their mind to in life. Although this book is no therapy session, it is meant for anyone who has the courage and desire to help themselves to make a change in their own life, or for it to be shared with someone else who may need it. There could be times when someone may need a boost of self-encouragement within their life, so this book could be beneficial. It can help in enhancing their motivation and happiness. It could also assist the reader in boosting positivity concerning their moods. For example, someone could be a new student or faculty member adjusting to a new role, and they may tend to be feeling down because they are used to a different atmosphere or schedule. On the other hand, they could be feeling thankful and just need a little more time to get fully settled in their role to increase their levels of happiness. Of course, it will take time for them to adjust. There are many reasons why an individual could be suffering from symptoms associated with low mood. “You are not your feelings, and your feelings are not who you are,” said Dr. Julie Smith.  

Below are some listed helpful techniques for someone to be able to utilize to enhance their mood which they could bring a smile of joy to themselves.  

Other self-soothing ideas include:    

A warm drink   

Chatting with a trusted friend or loved one   

Physical movement   

Calming music   

Beautiful images   

Slow breathing    

Relaxation techniques    

A scent or perfume you associate with safeness and comfort    

Overall, be sure to keep in mind that this book is wonderful for an individual who is seeking to enhance their knowledge regarding self-help exercises. I would have considered this book to be worthwhile reading again. Especially when I am in the mood to journal this would be a smart choice because it is filled with lots of journal prompts that are beneficial for enhancing mood. As well as expressing feelings in someone’s very own personal way. Always remind yourself you can overcome it!  

About Alexandra Blockton

Alexandra is pursuing an Associate Degree in general studies as a Transfer Student. After Fall 2023, she will transfer to a 4-year university to major in Psychology.
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