In our ultimate guide to mental wellness, we discussed the importance of seeking professional support when you need it. This remains an essential step in developing your wellness, especially if you’re struggling. No person is an island, so don’t force yourself to go it alone.

Of course, this sounds well and good and intellectually correct on the surface, but the reason why people need this reminder is that it’s often very hard to ask for help. Or so it seems. Many people have learned to take care of themselves, and reaching out to ask for assistance from others isn’t necessarily good, helpful, or even worthwhile.

This is a false impression of course, but it remains. So, if learning to ask for help is so hard, how can we go about it? In this post, we intend to dig further into this practice and help you take that first step.

The real secret here is that while asking for help can seem so scary, actually doing so can fill you with a real sense of relief and progress. So, let’s explore how to get started:

Identify The Help You May Need

You don’t have to write a full thesis with every flaw you have or every issue you need assistance with, but it’s good to know how to ask for help. This can be as simple as “I have a habit I think is harming me, but I’m having a tough time stopping.” If you can better communicate the help you need, people will assist you more readily, willingly and accurately. It’s good to think about that, because otherwise it’s easy to be vague about what you want assistance with, and nothing provided to you will be helpful. Or, in some cases, such as with an intensive outpatient program, having a specialist help define the parameters can be tremendously helpful.

Consider The Pain Points You’ve Struggled With

It’s good to discuss the pain points that contribute to your need for help. The more you can bring these into the light, the more they can be addressed. Perhaps you’re having trouble as a new parent acclimating to the task. This isn’t because you’re weak, but perhaps you just need some help. Perhaps you’re starting to resent parenthood despite loving your child. If you can make that clear, you’re more likely to determine the best course of assistance.

Be Grateful, But Unapologetic

When you ask for help, and you receive it, you may feel quite grateful that someone listened. That’s always a wonderful step forward. Yet while being thankful for the help is important, apologizing overly only defines you as someone who doesn’t deserve the help, or someone asking for too much. Don’t disparage yourself or make yourself out to be small. You’ll find many people are more than willing to help you and aren’t interested in seeing you prostrate yourself in front of them. So, don’t feel obligated to. Deep thanks and making good on promises is enough. This can help you retain your confidence even while you’re finding the help you need.

With this advice, we hope you can ask for the help you need, because there’s never any shame in it.