Years ago, when my anxiety was at its worst and before I experienced the powerful transformation that can come from neurolinguistics, there was one activity that helped me reduce my relentless anxiety. This activity was volunteer work. I chose to become a volunteer with a local pet therapy organization. I was fortunate to have an amazing chihuahua as a pet. She had a kind and sweet personality and socializing seemed like a good fit for both her and I. I looked forward to getting out of the house each week, interacting with others and witnessing the joy that my little dog brought others who were struggling with their own health challenges.
How Volunteering Can Help Anxiety
I soon noticed that making a deliberate attempt to brighten another person’s day by doing something thoughtful and caring made me feel less anxious in my own life. I realized that volunteering took me out of my mind and forced me to focus on the present moment. Very soon after signing up, I was feeling much happier and content overall. I found I could stay centered in gratitude for my life and all that I had. My awareness of my own good fortune was heightened. As an added bonus, I was blessed with some amazing friendships formed on the basis of our shared sense of connection to the hospital.
Today, I find other ways to volunteer my time. I am still involved in the local hospital however, now working on a committee that raises money to fund vital, underfunded equipment. Each and every time I get together with the people in this organization, I get a strong sense of community and belonging. This sense of belonging brings a huge sense of calm to me.
Why do Acts of Kindness Help Anxiety?
So why does practicing acts of kindness help with anxiety? First, it releases energy and when we are feeling anxious, we typically have an over-abundance of energy. Secondly, it releases the neurochemicals that are associated with feeling good. Neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. And generally, it enhances physical health because usually negative physical health is precipitated by stress.
Today, volunteer work is on my list of ongoing activities that I undertake to manage my anxiety. It is part of my anxiety-management routine along with exercise, getting enough sunlight and managing my sleep routine.
I encourage you to look into what volunteer work might interest you and then get involved. You will soon find that the more you give, the more you get.
How can you practice imagination today? What in your life can you build an imaginary story around? What’s stopping you from imagining – nothing!
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To our Health and Wellbeing,