Doing something with the explicit purpose of making yourself feel good seems to suffer a bad reputation. It’s seen as selfish, something only the greedy and wealthy have the time or inclination to do.
Here’s something that should help you put this in perspective. When you help yourself, you help others too. Sound confusing? It shouldn’t. The fact is that if you’re not doing all you can to make sure you’re at a certain level of happiness, it can have negative effects on others. Dissatisfaction manifests in many ugly ways. If you spend all your time focussing on helping and treating others, you will eventually burn yourself out. All that goodwill requires a certain level of energy and positive focus. And what’s one of the best ways to make sure you’re got enough of both those things? By taking the time to tend to yourself, too.
It all helps cultivate a positive outlook and attitude. And you shouldn’t underestimate the positive health effects that a good attitude has! So how do we go about striking a balance between helping others as well as helping yourself?
Taking care of your healthIt’s an odd quirk of human beings that we sometimes see taking care of our health as something gruelling and punishing. It probably doesn’t help that many of us forget how immediate the benefits of taking care of our health make themselves known. We imagine that exercising or changing our diet isn’t something we’ll feel the benefits of for years. But this is a misconception. You can check out more misconceptions about healthy living at www.BodyBuilding.com.
Looking after your health changes your outlook almost immediately. After a couple of weeks of healthier living, you’ll notice changes in your attitude and energy levels. So what are the steps you should take now? I’m going to suggest three things: more exercise, more sleep and better eating. Those things sound pretty obvious, right? Everyone knows they should do them. But they don’t appreciate how much these things can help them every day.
Try getting into running gradually. Regular physical exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream. Endorphins help with feelings of euphoria and well-being. That makes it sounds like a drug – well, it does actually work similar to morphine and codeine! By making sure you get enough sleep, you’ll ensure that your concentration and general thinking are as razor-sharp as they can get. You’ll be less irritable and more energetic. A good diet will also have similar effects. A bad diet has been shown to contribute to bad moods.
Treating yourself and others
There’s a stigma around getting yourself something just for the sake of getting yourself something! But you need to let go of the guilt that others might try to place on you for it. The fact is that a little self-indulgence every now and again is actually good for you.
It’s true that we shouldn’t rely solely on material things to lift our spirits. That’s why it’s important to be mixing treats with good health and helping others. So how about this? Every time you want to buy something for yourself, you consider buying something for someone else. Or you make a donation of 10-25% of that purchase amount to a charity. In fact, many online stores give you the option to add a charitable donation.
There are, of course, good treats and bad treats. You don’t want to be doing something that is going to harm yourself. For example, going all out on a decadent and fatty meal too often isn’t going to work too well with your aim to eat healthier! But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the occasional sweet thing. As for clothing or jewellery, these can do wonders for you. If a hot new top or a beautiful item from DavidsonAndLicht.com can help boost your spirits, you should go for it. Combine that with a charitable donation and it becomes harder to feel guilty, right?
Doing more to help others
Many of us like to think we’ll do the right thing when the time comes. These thoughts help us sleep at night. But how often do we actually get a chance to make a difference? To do some good? To do that right thing we’re always fantasizing about? These opportunities don’t fall into our lap all too often. This is why a lot of people get out there and start volunteering.
Volunteering may not sound like something that has a lot of direct benefits to you. Well, aside from soothing our humanitarian instincts. But studies have shown that volunteering actually has a number of health benefits. Check out this study at UnitedHealthGroup.com. Those statistics are not be sniffed at. 94% of volunteers saw improvements in their mood. 96% said that they feel an enriched purpose in life. 80$ reported an increased feeling of control over their general health.
See? Even volunteering, that most selfless of pursuits, has a number of benefits for you! The problem that many people find is that it’s hard to make time to volunteer. People think about volunteering and see it almost as a full-time commitment. That it all but replaces their day job or robs them of their ability to have any free time to themselves. But even volunteering for a few spare hours once a week can make a tremendous difference. Heck, even once every two weeks! Or once every month! Whatever time and help you have to offer is going to make a massive difference to the organization you’ve chosen to help. Check out WikiHow.com for a guide to getting started.
I see the above as the “power trio” of looking after yourself and others. If you want to good for others, you don’t need to commit to some ascetic, monk-life lifestyle. You don’t have to spend every spare hour and dollar solely on others. You can make charitable tendencies work in tandem with taking care of yourself. So take the first steps today. Get more exercise, get involved with charities in need, and don’t be afraid to buy yourself a gift every now and then!