Helping Ourselves by Helping Others
One of the best ways to overcome depression, be more confident, and learn to thrive is to reach out and help other people. We volunteer to help others, but in the process, we end up helping ourselves.
One of the smartest things I did when I ended up divorced, was continuing to be a part of my church’s music ministry. That gave me a place to belong and something of which I could be a part. A little later I also started helping with the singles ministry and facilitating DivorceCare. In helping others to thrive, I learned to thrive.
As I was considering what to write about this week, my first thoughts were to write something about either becoming more attractive or growing as a person. Those are two of my favorite topics and things that are essential to thriving as a single person. But, my thoughts kept getting interrupted by hurricanes. Harvey just hit Texas. Irma is now impacting Puerto Rico, could soon impact Florida, and for a while looked like it might head toward us here in along the gulf coast.
Suddenly it was obvious. This time of multiple crises is not a time to think inward. Now is a time to think outward. It is a time to team up and volunteer and do some good.
To Thrive, Do Good to Others
But, the remarkable thing is, it is a scientifically proven fact that as you do good to others, you benefit yourself as well. So, in a way, I am writing today about personal growth and being attractive. Because, it turns out that, as you help others, you help yourself – in some very tangible ways.
As a single person, loneliness can be one of your biggest issues. Getting involved in a volunteer effort helps you connect with people. The deep fellowship you experience as part of a team focused on a goal increases your sense of belonging and reduces your feelings of isolation.
Instead of sitting home alone, get out and help. You could end up forging deep friendships that last long-term. Getting involved brings a sense of camaraderie, belonging, and purpose that improves emotional, spiritual, and physical health.
Better Physical Health
Feeling stressed out? Depressed? Dealing with chronic pain? Helping others has been shown to reduce levels of pain, reduced stress, and reduce depression. It has also been shown to lower blood pressure. All of these things lead to being and feeling healthier.
Several of these can work together for maximum benefit. Reducing stress lowers blood pressure and reduces depression. Less depression leads to feeling less pain. Which leads to less depression – and it starts to gain momentum and snowball into a positive cycle of better health.
Better Mental Health
Going out and doing good for others also leads to a sense of accomplishment. That leads to a more positive outlook. That brings with it an increased sense of well-being and happiness.
It also makes you aware that you have reasons to be thankful. This time you were not the one needing help, you were the one giving help. You have the power to do some good.
Now, you have the power to do more good for others – and for yourself as well. This feeling of power and being in control spills over into other areas of life. You end up a more confident person than you were before.
That’s not to say that you help others for the sole purpose of being a better you. You help others because you can and should. But, by doing so, you do reap some benefits – surprisingly good, scientifically proven benefits.
Personal Growth and Being Attractive
So, in the end, I am writing about personal growth and being attractive. Helping others in their time of need will help you grow into a better person. And, the positive attitude, positive energy, and confidence you develop in helping others will make you a more attractive person. People love being around positive, confident people. Positivity is attractive. Confidence is sexy.
So, volunteer. There is always a need somewhere. Start with your church. Find out what it is doing in your area and join in. If it is not doing anything, maybe this is your opportunity to step up and help your pastor organize a volunteer effort. If your church is not open to reaching out and helping people, find a church that is.
Maybe your church is too small to lead such an effort, if that is the case, there are other ways. Perhaps your church can partner with another church. Or, maybe you or your church can work with a local civic organization. They are always looking for ways to help the community and volunteers to make it happen. Find one that aligns with your convictions and your skills, then jump in and help out.
Helping = Thriving
Helping leads to thriving by:
- Increasing your social connections
- Lowering your stress
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Reducing your depression
- Increasing your sense of well-being
- Increasing your happiness
- Helping you feel more empowered
- Helping you feel more in control
- Boosting your confidence
So, your homework for this week: get out and help others.
Join a team. Do some good. Thrive on!
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