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Help Yourself by Helping Others

by Beth on March 25th, 2010

I volunteered to help out at our church Rummage Sale this week.  The morning that I was scheduled to help I was pretty stressed out because I had a ton of work to do and was worried I wouldn’t have enough time to get it all done if I spent the morning at church.  But then I remembered that helping others is one of the best things you can do for your own positivity.  I spent the morning sorting clothes at church and when I got home I was in such a good mood that I had the energy I needed to get all of my work done.  Not that my work is ever done!  But the few deadlines I had that day were met.

Practicing acts of kindness or helping others is one of the number one happiness interventions.  There are several different reasons that being kind and generous increases your positivity.  Helping others makes you feel good about yourself.  Using your skills in acts of kindness can boost your self-confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment.  Giving to others can lead you to appreciate your own good fortune.  Generosity connects you with other people, those you are helping or other volunteers.  These social interactions also contribute to higher levels of positivity.  Finally, helping others can distract you from your own problems.  You don’t have as much time to worry about things in your own life if you are focused on someone else.

Cami Walker is an excellent example of how practicing acts of kindness can be good for you.  She was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and at a particularly low point in her life when she decided to follow the advice of her spiritual teacher and “give something away each day for 29 days”.  Cami realized that the more she gave away the better she felt.  She started blogging about her experience and challenges others to try 29-Day Giving.

Have you experienced the joy of giving?  I’d love to hear your stories!  If you are looking for a quick way to increase your positivity, do something nice for someone today.  Companies can also capitalize on the power of giving in order to boost organizational positivity.  Starbucks has always encouraged their employees to volunteer in the community; even giving them paid days off for volunteer work.  How can you encourage your employees to help others?

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