Depression Hack: How to Help Others in Order to Help Yourself

“How To Lend A Helping Hand”

It is a proven neurobiological fact that the number one way to help yourself is to help others. There is far too much data to include that backs this fact up, so just google it . . . or just trust us. It’s true. Helping others offers the following:

  • Has proven brain benefits
  • Gives you a sense of purpose and importance
  • Raises self confidence
  • Fights low self esteem
  • Fights inactivity
  • Promotes altruism
  • Distracts you from your own worries
  • Can keep you physically healthy
  • Provides a social connection
  • Makes you happy!

So . . . how do you go about helping others in order to reap all of these benefits? It’s really easy and doesn’t involve charity balls or donating all of your spare cash. Your motive to help others can’t be to try to make yourself look good or gain financial benefit. You have to help from the heart. It’s all about You. In order to really benefit from a psychological perspective, you have to give of yourself. What we mean by that is to give the gift of You to someone or even something else. Here are a few examples that cover both ends of the helping hands spectrum:

  • Just be there for someone; listen; be patient; give a hug; give a compliment; acknowledge your fellow human beings
  • Smile at someone and say hello or stop and chat for a while
  • Give a little affection to an animal; feed the birds; pet a cat
  • Stop to pick up something that has fallen off of a store shelf, or pick up trash in the parking lot or local park
  • Offer to do a small task or chore for someone
  • Offer to help a friend/coworker with their work/studying
  • Wash graffiti off of a wall or sign in your town
  • Volunteer your time; visit the elderly, an animal shelter, a soup kitchen
  • Become a Mentor; coach a team; be a Big Brother/Sister

Trust us (and every study out there) helping others and expecting nothing in return will have as much of a benefit for you as it does for the people that you are helping. A Hospice patient once said that the employed caregivers visiting her were nice, but she could see a distinct difference in the volunteer who was not getting paid to visit her, and those visits meant a lot more. In turn, the volunteer said that his experience in Hospice Care was one of the most rewarding of his life.

Try it. Do it. Live it. Love it.

“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.” Horace Mann

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” Abraham Lincoln


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