Wellness Through Helping Others
In the New York Times (May 2020), Dr. Steven Southwick stated, “Small acts are important.” The professor emeritus of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and co-author of “Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges” continued, “Part of that might have to do with just getting outside of oneself, and finding meaning and purpose in something bigger.” In the same article we learned, “supporting others helps buffer our bodies against the detrimental effects of stress.” A five-year study of 846 people in Detroit found that stressful life events appeared to take a greater toll on people who were less helpful to others, while helping others seemed to erase the detrimental physical effects of stressful experiences.
The Dalai Lama says concern for others’ welfare enhances your own well-being, and this has been borne out in study after study, from research on compassionate doctors (their patients recover faster and have fewer doctor’s visits!) to the incredibly successful 12 Step Programs, which have a saying: When you don’t know what to do, do service. To learn about “Helper’s High” click here.
To read what others are doing, here is great article about unique ways people have found to help others, or pivot their efforts in a quarantined world.
We’d love to hear from you about the unique ways you’ve found to help others during this unprecedented time. Please send comments to Food For The Soul. Thank you!
Take care, be well and stay healthy!
Your Food For The Soul Team
Dear Friends, Fans and SoulMates,
In the Yoga Journal, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, a consulting neuroscientist with Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education writes, “Compassion. It’s a natural instinct, and one that researchers have observed in children as young as one year old.”
In a tremendously stressful year so far, some of us may have been on the giving or receiving end of compassionate help. Facebook groups like “What I Need” have popped up, where members ask for help and favors and respond to those requests as well. A kind word, $20, a trip to the grocery store for an elderly or infirm neighbor have brightened someone’s day or maybe saved them from going hungry.
Who benefits from Kindness, Compassion and Service to others? The evidence is overwhelming that both the giver and receiver do!