What is the one thing you can do today to feel better; guaranteed?
Help someone else.
Yes, its that simple friends. By helping someone else, and you can, even if you think you can’t due to health issues or lack of time, you will feel better physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is scientifically proven! The act of giving back not only makes your community and the world a better place, it increases your happiness, health, and overall sense of well-being.
Its so easy to get wrapped up in our own stuff, our families stuff, that before we know it we haven’t thought about the needs of others in a while. Its a big world out there, and lending a hand is a simple feel good practice. It also encourages others to do the same (the proverbial ripple effect).
A quick list of the scientifically proven benefits of helping others/volunteering your time:
It counteracts the effects of stress, anxiety, and anger; increases dopamine.
Protects you from depression.
Increases happiness because we are wired to give to others.
Provides socialization in many instances and opportunities to meet new people and create connections.
Lessens symptoms of chronic pain and lowers blood pressure.
Provides fulfillment and fun.
Increases self confidence.
Increases positivity and feelings of gratitude.
Fortunately you can choose how much time you want to give, what interests you, and what works for you week by week or just on various occasions, indoors, outdoors, etc... Maybe you love animals and can give an hour a week to walk dogs or pet cats at an animal shelter. Maybe your local schools could use your expertise for an hour here and there for a beneficial program. Fundraisers are an excellent way to meet new people while helping a cause. Perhaps you have winter jackets that can be passed off to a local family or you can wrap holiday presents and items collected for children in need. Maybe you really have no time or you are too ill to get out and do much but can get yourself to a food cupboard drop off station to drop off some healthy food items; so needed at this time of year. Perhaps donate the Lyme disease books you have amassed to your local library so others can learn and understand. Something as simple as checking in on your neighbor who lives alone, telling someone how wonderful you think they are or thanking someone for all they have done for you can change someone’s world.
So many ways to help and feel good, right? The one caveat; research shows that to reap the benefits, your feelings need to be authentic and you truly have to want to help, so find something that is meaningful to you.
What might you consider doing?
All the best,