MENTAL HEALTH

Helping others will reduce your own stress

Donating your time and money can help keep your problems in perspective this holiday season. (Adobe Stock)
Donating your time and money can help keep your problems in perspective this holiday season. (Adobe Stock)

Do you realize that giving to others can recharge your batteries? Giving something of yourself, when you feel exhausted and uninspired, will plug you into good energy.

Finding a way to enhance the lives of others helps us feel in control. It’s only when we have nothing left to give that we feel unhappy. Taking time to come up with a plan will change things.

If this sounds strange, remember: Love is the strongest, healthiest emotion you can have. Also, sharing kind feelings or doing something special for someone gives you a sense of power. Why? Because when you’re helping someone, you’re operating at your best.

If you feel emotionally empty, sad, betrayed by someone or lost in a crazy world, it helps to figure out where you can give. Can you do some volunteer work? Help your nephew study for a difficult math test? Coach someone on how to write a song or create artwork?

It’s hard to feel poor, lonely, or deprived if you’re giving something — time, money, talent, or emotional support — to another person.

express kindness and gratitude

Here are some tips for keeping yourself in the mood to love others:

• Make it a point to donate money or possessions every week. Put $20 in a special food bank fund or donate some items to Goodwill. Giving to others on a regular basis makes you feel more blessed.

• Accept that some people can’t be cheered up. This keeps you from trying to lift the spirits of those who choose to feel angry and down. It’s not your job to change them. Change yourself by focusing on upbeat, caring people in your circle.

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• Give other people the benefit of the doubt. In traffic, if someone does something crazy, don’t assume they just don’t care. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Let things slide occasionally, so you don’t upset yourself.

• Take time to count your blessings. Be thankful you have great eyesight for reading. Some people don’t. Be grateful you have food to cook for dinner. Some people don’t. Keep dwelling on all of the small things that make your life easier.

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