Most agree that giving to others is a good idea however giving to others has a knock on effect on ourselves by improving the givers mental wellbeing.
From small acts of kindness to volunteering, giving can give you a sense of purpose, community and connectedness.
Sometimes we think of our wellbeing in terms of what we have; our income, car, home or job. Evidence shows that what we do and the way we think has the biggest impact on mental wellbeing.
Positive mental wellbeing means feeling good about yourself and the world around you and being able to get on with your life.
Helping and supporting others and working with others towards a shared goal is good for our mental wellbeing. A 2003 study in 373 older adults found that some aspect of wellbeing were higher in those who did volunteer projects compared with those who did not.
Scientists have shown that giving to others can stimulate the reward areas in the brain helping to create positive feelings. Helping others also gives a sense of purpose and feelings of self-worth.
Giving comes in many forms... here are a few ideas:
- Show thanks to someone for something they have done for you
- Ask a colleague to join you for lunch or a coffee
- Help a stranger with their bags/ onto the bus/ cross the road
- Offer to help a family member or friend with a DIY project they’ve had on the long finger
- Assist in a work project with a colleague in need
- Contact a local charity and find out what activities they have on in the coming weeks/months and volunteer your time. If you’d like to volunteer with Mental Health Ireland you can do so here.
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give
Plan to protect your mental health and wellbeing: