Stressed Out? Learn about the Magic of Volunteering
It’s a man-eat-man society out here. We’ve all embraced capitalism. Everybody wants to make a living. Ask any budding entrepreneur, the most valuable athletes worth their tag, and any top-notch lawyer about their ambitions in life. More often than not, their replies can be rephrased in a couple of lines, “I just want to be the best.”
‘Being the best’ is an incredible mantra to live by. It’s probably brought them all success and/fame along the way. However, there are implications that come with putting too much effort in our crafts. There’s a downside to success and gratification.
The human brain is wired to release a couple of ‘feel good’ chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Naturally, without us knowing, we get addicted to the taste of success and may opt to continually seek it as a way of life.
The smartphone and social media frenzy is now all the rage world over. Our social media interactions feed off these good feeling chemicals. For every post that goes viral, gazillion dopamine chemicals are released. It motivates us to share more about our life intricacies all in a bid to generate more hits. We get happier and the marketing department on the various social media platforms generate more revenue from our interactions online. It’s a win-win situation.
Often times, success does not last forever. Athletes age, bankers face financial crises every couple of years, students fail every now and then, our sales are not always impressive and even the best attorneys lose cases. It’s the natural progression of things. For every winner, there’s bound to be a loser. Maintaining a streak is an elusive challenge, and as a society, we celebrate winners when they continually impress.
However, we often forget to remember them when they face downtimes. Our capitalistic notions push us to ridicule instead of offering constructive criticism.
We do not have to hit rock bottom whenever things don’t go as planned. Instead, we can take inspiration from the nature of things and emerge stronger than we previously were.
When work, home, school, and life stress us out in general, the brain releases a bad-feeling chemical called cortisol. This chemical is responsible for all the foul moods, low motivation, and our self-imposed solitary confinement. It’s murky waters after this.
Living in a state of stress is not healthy since it can lead to the adoption of harmful lifestyles. Some turn to smoking, some imbibe in alcohol and some overeat all in search for some inner peace. However, these solutions only last for a while and before we know it, we’re soon back to where we started, still stressed. Ailments like high blood pressure, coronary disease, depression, and obesity are usually amplified once stress gets into the equation.
The Healing Process
Life is a beautiful experience. It always throws back at us what we give it. When we embrace a positive attitude in our approach to everything, even adversities, we’re bound to come out stronger in whatever undertakings we’re engrossed.
What’s the trick? Just, live in the present. After all, the present is all we have. The future is simply a far way place that is determined by what we do in the here and now.
How Volunteering Helps
When we volunteer for a cause, we can effectively lower our anxiety levels and stress. Scientists have found a strong link between volunteering and stress reduction. Thus, since it’s a healthy alternative to simply just sulking, why don’t we embrace it? We should! By any means necessary.
Helping out those in need is bound to bring that feeling of wonderfulness. When we volunteer, we create a purpose to living. Having a purpose tends to erode any pre-conceived negative thoughts. It clears the mind.
Mental and Physical
Other than the good feeling, volunteering has other mental and physical benefits. It has been found to lower blood pressure levels and reducing depression. When we volunteer, we at times get to see that other people have it worse than we do. Instead, we learn to empathize with them. We care more. It’s a fundamental element of being human.
Once we come to the realization that not everything pans out as planned. We then start making efforts to not only improve our lives, but also those of others. This leaves a lasting impression on our well-being since we’re then tackling problems that may arise in a multi-faceted approach.
Even better is that we can get to see the results almost instantaneously in our community and environment. Simply put, volunteering is wonderful. It’s a wonder drug of sorts.
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