We all know the old adage, ‘it’s better to give than to receive,’ but did you realise that altruistic gesture not only benefits others, it is also good for you.
As Action Mental Health this week focuses on parenting as part of the #CovidWellbeingNI campaign and the benefits of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, we’re urging mums and dads to encourage their children to give to others, as we emerge from the lockdown – and beyond.
Giving is good for the community, for individuals and for you. Likewise, by encouraging your children to give of themselves and of their time to help others, you’ll be leading them down a path that has been proven to:
The Mental Health Foundation cites research that has shown that people who are kind and compassionate see clear benefits to their well-being and happiness. They may even live longer. Kindness can also help reduce stress and improve our emotional well-being, so there’s no greater example to set your children than to encourage them to adopt this type of approach to life.
Giving of yourself and your time can be difficult in life, especially with conflicting daily stresses in our busy lives – not to mention the current coronavirus pandemic. It can therefore be difficult to commit to volunteer your time, or give back to your community. But the research has shown the if we take the time to be kind to other people – whatever way we give of ourselves, we can reap emotional dividends. It can really make a difference and especially for people who are vulnerable or struggling.
The coronavirus has led to something of a kindness revolution and it would certainly be beneficial for society as a whole if, once the pandemic is over, we could count increased kindness among the myriad effects the crisis leaves us with.
The Mental Health Foundation proposes that now is the time to re-imagine a more giving and kinder society that better protects our mental health.
This new approach could be built into business decisions, government policy and official systems in a way that supports everyone’s mental health and also reduces discrimination and inequality.
The Foundation has compiled an inspiring and helpful guide to show the positive impact helping others can have on our own mental health. Read more here.