Take charge of your Mental Health: ‘Discover the Joy of Giving’
Take Charge of Your Mental Health Series
This is the fourth part of the special series on ‘Taking Charge of Your Mental Health’, which we bring for this year’s World Mental health day, focusing on the theme of ‘Psychological Mental Health – First Aid For All’.
In last 3 months we have covered different themes such as, ‘Reach-In’, ‘Lean-On’ and ‘Pick a P skill’. This time we wish you to discover the ‘Joy of Giving’!
Joy of Giving!
Wise people say, life is a circle, and what you give returns to you manifold.
In most religions of the world there is an emphasis on giving and even non-religious people believe giving to others is a path to living a fulfilling life.
In fact modern research also shows that giving to others or volunteering in community can have benefits like, decreasing stress, anger, anxiety etc. When we give, we become happier, experience life as meaningful and gain in confidence.
Volunteering can also become a way to learn and practice skills, like team work, communication etc, which can help us later in life and career.
Though material giving is the first thing which comes to our mind, but we can give in many different ways. We don’t need special training for giving, what is required is good will and interest.
People truly appreciate the little smile, a hug, a listening ear they had during times of distress. Even on an ordinary day it is possible to lift up someone’s spirit by a compliment, a heartfelt thank you, a little offer of help which shows we care.
Another way to help can be by offering guidance related to our field of expertise, or providing basic information (like how to get scholarship and future career options to our maid’s daughter). It may even be about some simple skills (such as teaching an elderly neighbour how to use a mobile app to call a cab). These kinds of help uses very little of our time and effort, but the benefits for the recipient can be immense and long lasting.
Sometimes we can also pick up small thoughtful gifts for friends and family members, or contribute small monetary sums from our own pocket money for a worthwhile cause.
There are no limits to giving, although at different age some ideas might seem easier to implement. For example in college it is feasible to get a few of our friends together and plan a donation drive in for collecting old toys, books, clothes etc and donating it to an NGO.
Apart from your everyday interactions, if you wish to give more through a group you can decide beforehand what you wish to give (in terms of time, resources, skills etc), and where (working with adults, elderly, children, animals etc). Then you can accordingly plan and contact some local NGO, hospital, elderly care home, museum/art gallery, animal shelter, or even a place of worship.
So let us open our hearts, and make an intention to share a little, in terms of our time, energy, resources, for a person, an animal or an organisation in need. In return we will also gain a lot, from inner joy to a memorable experience!
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”