People who give to others give healthier, happier lives to themselves.
If you or anyone you know has ever gone through a hard time, in other words, if you or anyone you know is human……
July 2017, I was lured into a personal and business relationship that spiraled out of control, the psychological destruction of this relationship has hung me out to dry, the stress, my hormones, and even my immune system has been impacted, I felt I was left to die, but worst of all, so was my dignity and my sense of safety in the world.
I had no physical injuries, but the psychic damage I have suffered is lasting and profound. After many weeks of intensive therapy, even a therapist’s therapist, I am still afraid to be alone. If there was a knock at the door I had a panic attack, every time I opened my front door.
You may have observed that people respond as differently to adversity as they do to the types of coffee on the high street. Some sail through with confidence, flags and arms reaching for the sky. Others facing a similar situation spend weeks, months, or years flailing in the mud of despair.
I’d tried everything therapy had to offer, but still felt a prisoner of my fears.
Then I was invited to appear and talk about my shame of allowing myself to be vulnerable. Either I was going to face my fears and go do this, or I was going to miss an opportunity to spread the word.
I did it, and it started, people where interested in what I had to say, something happened….I forgot to be afraid, my terror was gone, but I have to live with knowing she has gone.
Taking on this cause and talking to groups has done me more good than any therapy ever could.
Whether a person has experienced a life altering trauma, or suffering from anxiety or depression, or is grappling with a garden variety case of the blues, research shows that those who give without compromise find personal healing in their efforts to heal the world.
Researchers have discovered a physiological basis for the warm glow that often seems to accompany giving. “The benefits of giving back are definitely biological,” says bio-chemist Dr Edward Devlin BSc, PhD, S.N.H.S. Dip
Contemporary neuroscience has confirmed the connection between the physiological and psychological. We know now that the stress response, hormones, and even the immune system are impacted by, and impact, the pathways in the brain. MRI studies of the participants’ brains revealed that making a donation activated the mesolimbic pathway, the brain’s reward centre.”
The mesolimbic pathway of the emotional part of the brain releases feel-good chemicals, triggering a feeling of physical energy.
So there really is joy in giving…
Chief among those chemicals is dopamine, the hormone and neurotransmitter that plays important roles in motor activity, learning, motivation, sleep, attention, and mood. Dopamine reinforces the human urge to do whatever feels good, for better and for worse. On the upside, dopamine encourages us to hang out with people who are nice to us, savour a great meal, head for the garden on a hot summer day, and do nice things for others.
Experts call this variable the “Resilience Factor.” Endless research pounds have been spent attempting to unlock its mysteries in hopes of allowing more of us to sail and fewer of us to get stuck in the mud. It’s still not clear what combination of genetics, upbringing, and circumstance makes one person more resilient than the next.
When we give back, it shifts the focus outside ourselves, It creates a sense of satisfaction that increases endorphins and therefore, a sense of well-being. When we’re feeling down, the instinct is often to vent to friends. It’s good to have a support system, but if that’s all there is, it’s hard to get distance from what’s bothering you.
Doing things for other people, thinking about other people, is like giving your brain a break from despair.
Helping others is the best medicine for anyone who has been traumatized, I got to face my fears much more effectively than I would have if I’d stayed at home and kept going to therapy. Activism gets you out of yourself and into action. It makes you feel like you’re part of something greater than you.
Sadly, these days most of us settle for a life that lacks joy and sparkle and spend our days in the daily grind, that eventually we surrender our spirit and our soul becomes lost. But…don’t believe it has to be that way. All our paths lead to that passion and that sparkle, it is only a thought away.
For me, it’s more than a feeling. 10 months ago I was a traumatized victim, unable to work, sleep, eat, or be alone, even in my own home.
Today I speak to many groups about what that energy is, and have but once too terrified to go out.
Part of my development has been focusing 1 day a week on “me” because “me too” feels overwhelmed at times and have to put things into perspective, so I paint, producing a series of 13 large drawings entitled “The 13 Divine Feminine Apostles” ready for private view 01/10/2018,
Early hand sketch before painting “Divine Apostle ONE”.
“And it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the traumatic meeting of my soul-mate over the past year”
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