A rather challenging year is coming to an end very soon. We learned to adapt and get accustomed to many new changes in this eventful year. Although it seems like it will still take some time for everything to become normal, let us hope the coming year will bring better times. The holiday season of cheer, sharing, and giving is around the corner. It is a good time to reflect on all that we should be grateful for, and all that we usually take for granted. Take a moment to recognize, appreciate, and think of all the healthcare workers and volunteers who have been selflessly working and fighting the pandemic in the front line. Even if we are not able to do big things, small acts and gestures of kindness, and the little ways of helping can contribute to making a big difference.
Giving, helping and true happiness
Giving, helping, and sharing are great traits that make us human. Have you ever thought about what really gives you true happiness? All the things that you achieve and possess may give you temporary pleasure and excitement. Think of the times you cared, helped, brought about a smile, or shared something with others. They are undoubtedly the real happy moments that last and linger, the ones which give you a deep sense of satisfaction. The happiness or tears of joy that you unexpectedly bring to others, due to your kindness gives you contentment and fulfillment like no other. It is also sometimes called the helper’s high!
Different ways to give, help, and share
You can always find many ways to help. It could be mainly financial help that most folks are looking for but is not limited to that. In fact, one of the most valuable ways to help is to give your precious time to others. Volunteering for a cause and something that you believe in, and are passionate about, is a great way to help others. There are many organizations that need folks willing to give their time and help. Some other ways are by simply lending a patient ear, and listening to problems faced by others.
You can also provide support by just being there for those who need help and give advice if possible. This may help unburden their stress and make them feel better. Sharing your knowledge by teaching someone something new, or what they are struggling with, and helping solve their problems is another way of helping. So there are literally many ways to help, no matter how small.“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Kahil Gibran
Giving and Helping others is helping yourself.
We help ourselves by giving and helping others. It helps us enjoy a meaningful life with a sense of purpose, have less stress, be happy, contended, and have better health. So in giving we are actually receiving more.
Meaningful and valued life -
Giving, helping, and serving others gives you a sense of purpose-driven life. In helping others you feel valued, productive, build strong relationships, and hence live meaningful lives. “I find that once you start helping others it makes you feel better about yourself. It helps you figure out what you want to do with your own life.” – Lance Bass
Relieving someone else of their miseries helps you make a deep connection to yourself. It makes you grateful for all that you have and focus on the positive things in your own life. This is in fact a therapy for your soul. You tend to become more compassionate, less self-critical, and see yourself in a better light. You even forgive your own mistakes, move on, and thus improve your life.
Less stress -
When you help others and listen to their difficulties and life problems, what you thought of as your own mountain of problems, seems very insignificant. You start to notice, appreciate, and cherish the abundance that you are blessed with. This improves your overall outlook towards life and reduces any anxiety and depression that you face. Your overall mental health improves and stress levels are considerably reduced.
The happiness derived from giving and sharing is a great feeling. It is almost addictive and you feel like doing more, as you experience the positive energy and feelings. This is also contagious as the person being helped, may also feel like doing the same and pay it forward, in some other way. So a ripple effect of happiness is generated.
Health benefits –
Studies have proven that our brain releases feel-good chemicals which are associated with pleasure, by the happiness and satisfaction derived from giving and helping. It is said that folks who help by giving and sharing are less stressed, have stronger immunity, live longer lives, and have less anxiety and depression. So they naturally enjoy healthy lives. It is also said that they can even endure better pain. This is because they focus more on problems faced by others and how to help them, rather than their own, which mitigates their own issues.
Most folks who give and help do it wilfully. However be cautious not to get taken advantage of, be forced, or obligated into doing something that you don’t believe in. When you feel that you are being used unwillingly for a financial contribution, for instance, it will not help you get the benefits mentioned above. It may in fact make you resentful, stressed, and leave a bad taste. So be aware and choose to give and help willfully.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday season of giving, helping, and sharing! Thanks for reading.
P.S . All original images credits : pexels.com , Modified using Adobe Photoshop cc by inspiren.com