Helping others and helping yourself
It's good for you
Sometimes we can all can lose sight of the fact that you have something to offer. Doing things for other people actually has a beneficial effect on developing our own well-being. Recent research in neuroscience shows that helping others and working cooperatively activates and strengthens certain parts of the brain, enhancing well-being.
'Research has shown a simple act of kindness directed towards another improves the functioning of the immune system and stimulates the production of serotonin in both the recipient of the kindness and the person extending the kindness. Even more amazing is that persons observing the act of kindness have similar beneficial results.' Dr Wayne Dyer, author of The Power of Intention.
Note: Feedback received by Living Well on 21 November 2011
'Dr. Wayne and the author of this page are absolutely right. I can affirm their comments regarding, "Doing things for others has beneficial effects on developing our Own well being". It's like good medicine for your soul!'
Doing things to help others influences your perception of yourself and the world. The more people see you as a person with skills and abilities, the more you are able to see yourself that way.
In putting this into practice it is important to take care of yourself, to check that you are not doing this out of duty or continuing a habit of always putting others before yourself.
Benefits of being active
For some men, accepting help becomes easier if they can also do something in turn that helps someone else. You could put this into action in any way that suits you. It might be volunteering with a formal organization, offering to help a friend or an elderly neighbour, or making time to listen to someone you know who is having a hard time.
In helping others, take time to notice the conscious choice you made to offer assistance and consider how this fits in with the kind of person you want to be.
Read more about improving your wellbeing including connecting with others, being active, ongoing learning, giving to others and being aware of the present moment.