How Helping Others Can Relieve Anxiety and Depression
A person who is depressed may have a difficult time having positive self-esteem. It’s easier to put ourselves down than it is to consider our strengths and what is going well. Someone who is suffering from depression may blame themselves often, think others don’t like them, and have a hard time letting go of their mistakes.
Having low self-esteem can sometimes lead to future depression. As depression improves, though, a person’s self image may also improve. This could mean that discovering ways to build our self-esteem could help lift the fog of depression.
One way we can work to build our self-esteem is by focusing our attention on helping others. Some studies have shown that intentionally spending time doing things that help other people can not only improve those relationships, but also provide some reprieve from our depression. A cycle can then be created where the meaningful relationships we are growing lead to us feeling better and as we feel better we continue to be intentional with those relationships.
Relieving Anxiety and Depression
Practicing compassion is just one way that we can help other people. Here are a few ways you can show compassion towards your friends and family:
- By being supportive of your friends and family, you’re letting them know you care about what they are thinking and feeling.
- By being compassionate when other people make mistakes, you respond gently and encourage them. It also shows them how to treat you kindly when you make a mistake.
- Little gestures, like letting someone merge in traffic or calling a friend to tell her you’re thinking of her, can go a long way to make a difference in another person’s life.
- By recognizing the power of your words and choosing them carefully, you begin intentionally making constructive comments that can build other people up. This also builds your relationships with people, and just think, when you are making constructive comments you can’t be making destructive ones.
- Avoid causing harm to others. One way to do this is to walk away when an argument is getting out of control instead of saying something that could be hurtful.
- Depression and anxiety can make us focus our attention inward on ourselves. Intentionally being compassionate towards others can help relieve self-centeredness.
- Being mindful of actions that may cause difficulty for other people, like making a mess and not cleaning up after yourself, is another way to be compassionate.
Showing compassion towards others is a great way to invest in our relationships. Investing in our relationships can help our own health and happiness, so it turns out that being compassionate towards others also helps us show compassion towards ourselves.