Tip #88: Help people.
The why: You know of all the methods I have used to overcome anxiety, none have been more powerful than this one.
Now of course, helping people is an innate good, that is, good because it is a good thing to do for its own sake.
However, apart from making this world a little better and brighter, it can also do wonders for your happiness and mental health.
Numerous studies have shown that helping others triggers the happiness hormone in our brains, giving us a sudden burst of amazing energy. This is because humans are social and empathetic creatures, when we see another in pain we feel for them, and wish to help. Acting upon this desire to help makes us feel good.
In fact, this is an evolutionary response, and is one of the things that has allowed the human race to survive for so long. In a time long, long, long ago before we had developed moral systems in society, there was not a lot of reason to help each other out, meaning if our neighbour was being chased by a mammoth, we may not have left our cave to rescue them.
If everyone had felt this way, our species would have become extinct a long time ago. So, our brains developed a way of making us want to help each other; by making us feel good for doing so.
Now that we have completed our journey down memory lane, we can explore the other reasons for lending a helping hand.
It also gives us a sense of purpose and direction in our lives. No matter how bad we are feeling, or what we are going through, knowing that we can still bring light and joy into this world is a very powerful thing.
It helps to give us a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Seeing the positive impact we can have on the lives of others gives us hope, and lets us know that we belong in this world.
So, here’s a challenge to you dear readers, for the next week perform one random act of kindness each day and feel the difference.
It can be small, large, planet-wide, anything. Whether it’s buying food for someone sleeping on the streets, listening to a friend talk about a problem, giving blood, cook dinner for a loved one, volunteer at a local care home, every little helps.
Heck, challenge yourself even further and do something you’ve never done before like go on a charity sky-dive or fun-run (running is never fun but I didn’t come up with the name so don’t blame me).
Combine helping people with busting anxiety by getting out of your comfort zone!
Let me know in the comments how the challenge goes, and what you did, and I’ll share mine!
Now let’s go spread some joy, anxiously, but happily.