#42 Develop More Empathy

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#42

Develop More Empathy

Empathy plays a major roles in our ability to be socially competent. It is a key trait found in healthy relationships. None of us can exist on our own. Societies thrive when their citizens embrace the values of helping one another. While it’s true that we are all responsible for our own actions, it can be easy to forget just how much the desire to understand others and to work on their behalf matters also.

Benefits for Those Who Give

When we think of being empathetic and doing compassionate deeds, our emphasis is usually on what the person in need, or who is receiving the assistance, gets. It’s rare to look at what you can gain through working on behalf of someone else. Of course, you get the satisfaction and warm feeling of helping. It’s an increase in feel-good neurochemicals that leads to this. Performing compassionate deeds lowers our levels of stress and improves our health.

Empathy for others influences our social growth and competence, as well. Such actions force you to look beyond yourself and broaden your perspectives. Doing so can lessen your own emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. Reaching out to others in times of need builds social connections and enhances interpersonal skills necessary for healthy relationships.  

What Receivers Gain

Those on the receiving end of your empathetic efforts gain the sense that others care, which can go a long way toward improving overall mental outlook and sense of self. They gain trust in the outside world and feel seen. When others show compassion, it can lead receivers to believe that they are being perceived as worthwhile and of value. They feel more trusting and are often more motivated to work toward self-improvement goals.

We never know how the empathy we express may affect the person who receives it and I’m not sure we can have too much empathy as long as we are establishing healthy boundaries along the way. Empathy, compassion, and perspective work hand in hand to make great relationships better. If you’re seeking more growth you can work to….

Develop more empathy.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#97 Mentor Someone

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#97

Mentor Someone

What do you do with all of your accumulated knowledge, experience, and wisdom? Is it just there? Untapped except for your own judgment?Why not make the effort to share it by mentoring someone?

A mentor is defined as someone who establishes a trusting relationship with a younger, less experienced individual and provides guidance, support, and encouragement.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is at least some accumulation of information that can be helpful to those younger or less experienced than yourself. Children in a homeless shelter, teens attending an after school support program, college students looking to enter the workforce, Twenty-somethings just starting out, new mothers, new fathers, first time home buyers, startup entrepreneurs, and the list goes on… can all benefit from the insight generated by someone who’s ‘been there… done that’.

Children

Children, in particular, benefit from mentoring. A child who’s been mentored is 53% more likely to go to college and 130% more likely to hold a leadership role of some kind. They are 81% more likely to engage in extracurricular activities such as sports and 46% less likely to use illegal drugs. One of the primary advantages of being mentored is the increase in self-esteem of the mentee. Emotional support and approval derived from mentoring relationships is responsible for increases of self-esteem in most cases.

Young Adults

Graduate students who have defined mentor relationships as strong and successful demonstrate more satisfaction with their graduate programs and postgraduate well-being. Some research indicates that the stronger the reported mentoring relationship – the more professional success is earned by the mentee. Adults entering the corporate marketplace also report higher job satisfaction when mentored by seasoned workers.

Good For You

Mentoring has other benefits aside from doing a good thing and the satisfaction that comes from giving back. Often, the things we teach are things that we need to remind ourselves to do. It’s similar to picking through an old file and discovering something there you’d forgotten or are just happy to be reminded of. This is true for both industry knowledge and life skills in general.

Additionally, mentoring offers you the opportunity to gain perspective; to remember what it was like before you ‘knew it all’. It is a blatant reminder that the world goes around, and around again. As we gain experience, we understand more intently, how to prioritize and we learn to trust our intuition and decisions. Working with mentees can demonstrate how far we’ve come in our own journey – increasing our confidence.

This is a suggestion that is a win-win for all parties involved so take a look at your schedule and research some of the opportunities where you live where you can…

Mentor someone.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#166 Organize a Food Drive

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#66

Organize a Food Drive

Perhaps one of the best feelings ever is that sensation that settles in when we do something selfless that benefits someone else. It seems as if there is some type of disaster annually that strips communities and its residents of resources and even without, there are always people in need for a variety of reasons. Food pantries exist for this very reason yet during disasters and especially near the holiday’s, their contents dwindle to levels that make it difficult to meet need.

Feel good feelings

As an individual, it seems that there is often little we can do other than contribute money but that means someone else does the grunt work. This suggestion is aimed at increasing your sense of Eudaimonia (a deep sense of well-being) by initiating, organizing, and following through with a food drive in support of a local pantry or a larger effort at providing supplies to disaster relief.

Getting started

After connecting with a charity that will accept the donation, it may be necessary to establish a collaboration with your work, school, or spiritual organizations to get energy, committment, or permission. Generally it’s as simple as placing collection containers in an obvious place and inviting people in that environment to participate by contributing to the cause. Unexpired canned or boxed food items are always appreciated as are paper products that any family could use. Some drives are specifically aimed at children or infants. What a blessing it would be for a food pantry to be inundated with a supply of diapers it can offer its patrons!! (I know, diapers aren’t food but they are often desperately needed).

Start now

This is a common effort during the holidays and we’re entering that season so it may be something you want to add to your to-do list or your ‘holiday intention’ yet I would offer “why wait?”. Perhaps now… before we’re all inundated with people asking, it would be more effective! It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy… a phone call to a pantry or charity to get needs and details… an email or flyer distributed to your cohorts… the actual collection… and then delivery. It could be one box or ten.

Motivate the gang

This may be a great activity for your family, your bible study, your business team, your department, your bowling team, or your book club. It’s bound to boost your gratitude level, your sense of belonging, and your overall well-being and that’s just the benefit to you! Your energy will most definitely help others and make life easier for someone who need their own boost. I hope you’ll consider…

Organizing a food drive.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#274 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#274

Do a good deed

Think about this phrase ‘do a good deed’ for a minute. What does it mean to you? Does it mean a kind gesture? What would that look like?

There are more ways to do a good deed than there are words to describe how it may be enacted. From returning a grocery cart for someone to paying for a full grocery order – it can cost nothing or as much as you would like to give. It can take barely any energy or be a full day of hard labor. It might be working with a bona-fide charity or simply some random act that was spontaneous.

It doesn’t matter how large or small a good deed is, the act itself is important. Why?

Turns out that when we do something nice for someone, the pleasure centers in our brain are activated – another way that we produce the happy chemical dopamine. Research has repeatedly indicated that people who are consistently benevolent report higher levels of well-being than others.

Perhaps the key element here is ‘consistent’. I’d wager that most of us have done something nice for someone at one point or another and we may not consider ourselves ‘happy’. Yet, when we extend kindness over and over again, day after day… we are also benefiting.

Kindness begets kindness and so our good deed may in fact, be the one that begins a ripple in the energy of generosity. Some would argue that the extension of kindness is the ultimate journey for our souls; that to aid those less fortunate than ourselves is a social or spiritual rule. In any regard – it will help you feel better about yourself and probably about your circumstances as we can always find someone more in need than we are.

Do yourself – do someone else – a favor today and …

Do a good deed.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

 

#298 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#298

Volunteer

If you regularly volunteer for an organization or a person … Thanks for all you do and come back tomorrow to read the next tip! If you do NOT regularly volunteer – THIS post is for you!

It is often said that when we offer our time and/or talent to a person or a cause, we are engaging in our truest purpose. We believe that when we volunteer, we are experiencing selflessness at its highest point and yet… there are so many individual and personal benefits that perhaps it serves the deepest purpose of self.

You see, when we donate time and talent, we are opening ourselves to experiences that grow our spirit, our strengths, and our hearts. Sometimes, the value is much more significant to the person who helps than to the receiver. Benefits include growth in compassion, strengths, empathy, purpose, and esteem. When we expose ourselves to new ideas, new people, and new experiences we expand our hearts; a benefit that has long lasting impact.

For maximum impact, it’s necessary to volunteer in an area that is of interest. A population that inspires you or a project that connects with your passion. Whether it is working with an animal shelter, building homes, or interacting with youth – make sure it is something that motivates continued participation.

Volunteering fosters happiness and leads to longer life expectancy. It deepens our skill sets, strengthens our weaknesses, and improves our overall outlook on life. What’s not to love? It is a win-win endeavor for everyone involved. If you’re looking for a way to improve your mood or your quality of life, it may be as simple as looking for a space where your time and talent is used as you …

Volunteer.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.