Serve and love.
What’s completely free, a natural anti-depressant, a mood-uplifter and something that connects us more with those around us? Serving others.
Selfless acts, to loved ones or strangers, random, or in an ongoing structured fashion, enhance our feelings of well being and lift us from dark, lonely or isolating thoughts.
There’s a perception that serving others is somehow a saintly act. Something only those very self-righteous, spiritual or religious people do. However, it’s good for all of us. It’s therapy, as much as a good massage or a shopping spree is therapy. In this case the therapy is free and unlimited.
They say a lot of our unhappiness as humans results from us dwelling in the ego mind. Having those thoughts that are all about ‘me’. ‘Poor me, look what happened to me.’ ‘Lucky me, I’m great, better than all those other losers (but, oh no, what if this luck changes)’. Serving others eliminates all of this. It’s living life as it’s truly meant to be lived, moving happily through this incredible life we have taking care of others on route.
It doesn’t have to be huge, but it can be. Smile and hold a door for a stranger. Tell an acquaintance they look happy and well. Find a cause, something happening close to you in your world that ignites passion. The lovely bonus that comes from finding a cause is meeting others that share your passion. Other, once seemingly unconnected, people that, in fact, ‘get’ you.
It’s ok to put yourself first; it’s ok to put your oxygen mask on before you turn to help the other passengers. But remember that helping others is, in fact, ultimately an act of self care. And the lovely knock-on effect is you making the world a slightly better place. The little bit of service you put out there spreads joy and happiness to someone else. They, in turn, might pass their brighter smile on to the next person and so on until these little ripples of service and joy spread out, out into the greater world.
Do it. Serve and love. For the benefit of everyone, but especially for the benefit of you!