11 Easy Ways Help Yourself By Helping Others
When we hold on tightly to the things that are not working in our lives, we don’t give them room to heal. By shifting our attention to others, we often realize that our “problems” are never as bad as we perceive them to be in the first place. Sometimes they are even miraculously healed.
Here are some fun things you can try that will spice up your daily routine while sending good energy and love to others:
1. Smile at a stranger.
This is perhaps one of the easiest things you could do, and it could change your life. Try it and you will see. A simple smile could be the start to a conversation with your future wife/husband, business partner, life-long friend, or it could simply make someone else happy.
If you’re really feeling wild, why not slip the word “hi” in there?
2. Write an anonymous love letter.
This can be a lot of fun and a very healing exercise. Break out that old stationary and handwrite an inspirational letter. Really put a lot of love and encouragement in it. Seal it in an envelope and the next time you are on a train/bus leave it on the seat as you leave. Whoever finds it was meant to find it. Also take note of what you actually write because it was meant for you, too.
3. Send a surprise package to an old friend.
I am not a big fan of giving people presents only on their birthday. I like giving people gifts when I find something that I know they would like, not on specific days of the year. A while ago I had a dress in my closet I loved, but never wore; the tags were still dangling. I knew one of my friends loved it, so I decided to send it to her in a package with a letter.
The whole week I was so excited about the surprise. Turned out, she got the package after a particularly stressful day at work. In her words, “this couldn’t have arrived on a more perfect day.” Isn’t it funny how doing things that seem spontaneous are often much more synchronized than we think?
4. Give one of your favorite inspirational books away to a stranger.
If you're anything like me, you have read many motivational stories and books. I have a bunch just sitting on my shelf. Why not write a short note in the front of one and then hand it to a stranger?
Your inner guide will tell you who to give it to.
5. Give someone a hug.
Why the heck not?
6. Give some of your old clothes away.
Over the last year, I have done a major cleanout of my stuff. There is something very therapeutic about cleaning and releasing the cutter. I bet there are many things you don’t use anymore in your closet. Why not spend a few hours to clear it out and donate it?
7. Let your family/friends know that you love them.
If you want more love in your life, then start giving more.
Why not combine this with number 5?
8. Workout for a cause.
There are tons of organizations and events that you can participate in such a races and/or walks for hunger and cancer. A few years ago, I rode a bicycle across the United States to raise money for affordable housing.
Whatever your activity, there is probably a fundraiser. If not, start your own.
9. Buy a bouquet of flowers.
Unwrap the bouquet and, as you are walking down the street, give one flower from the bunch to each person you pass.
Wear your smile.
10. Go to a support group or start your own.
Maybe you have just recovered from an illness, eating disorder or addiction. You can mentor someone going through a similar situation. This is big. Maybe just tell someone you are available to talk on the phone if they ever need help. Sometimes just reminding someone they are not alone can make all the difference in their healing.
11. Take a volunteer vacation.
This is something on my list of things to do. For me, the best trip is the kind where I am on an adventure in the jungle and doing something meaningful while I am there. I would gladly live out of a backpack for opportunities like this.
If you noticed, all of these ways to help, require you to actually do something. Focusing our attention on helping other people gives our own lives room to heal. As author Isabel Allende says, “we only have what we give.”
Give healing and love and watch as you become healed and loved, too.