It’s widely acknowledged that helping others is a nice thing to do. It’s kind, empathetic and supportive. But did you know that it can also have a direct positive effect on your own mental wellbeing?
Acts of kindness, big or small, help to give you a sense of purpose and can make you feel happier and more satisfied in your own life. This can be anything from holding a door for someone, complimenting their outfit, to volunteering in your local community or fundraising for an important cause. Our actions and mindset in this regard have a significant impact on our mental health, physical health and wellbeing, and giving to others is a proven way to improve our own wellbeing.
Health benefits associated with giving include: lower blood pressure, high self-esteem, lower rates of depression, lower stress levels, longer life, greater happiness and satisfaction. When we give, it activates parts of the brain that are connected to pleasure, trust, and relationships with others. It triggers the release of important feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and oxytocin in a rush that is often referred to as the ‘helper’s high’.
Here are some things you can do to help others:
- Volunteer for your local community
- Use your expertise and talent to mentor those who are struggling
- Check in with a friend, family member or neighbour who are isolating. Offer to do their food shopping or pick them up prescriptions.
- Share your skills and teach someone how to do something e.g. play guitar, cook a meal, draw
- Call a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Drop off some food at a local food bank
- Raise money by doing a challenge e.g. run a 10k
- Send flowers to a loved one
- Check in on those who are on their own
- Compliment someone
- Lend an ear to someone going through a tough time
Why not try and do some of these things this week? Not only will you be helping others, but you’re guaranteed to feel good about yourself afterwards too!
Check out last week’s Wellness Wednesday HERE