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Making Yourself Available

How helping others is good for your health...

A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast by Joyce Meyer. I have been listening to her for 10 years and have used her tips to become a better person. I admire her honesty and strength. At the age of 7 she was sexually abused by her farther and went through the rhythm of life dealing with that trauma, until she realised that she needed to forgive, forgive herself and her farther.

Something which has stuck out for me has been Joyce talking about, how even when you’re in a process of hurting the best way to get yourself out of your head is to make yourself available to serve others.

I’d like to share an example, a few weeks ago, at the start of my day and on the way to the train station I silently said to God, ‘I make myself available to you Lord, ready to serve.’ As soon as I got on the train I could hear someone gasping for air, I had just sat down when a young girl stood up, she was holding her throat, trying to breathe, a few seconds later she collapsed on the floor, in between the seats. The few of us who were around helped her as best we could. Eventually she sat up and seemed OK. Strangers working as a team.

Most of the train passengers just sat and starred. In that moment I forgot that I was sleep deprived, that I was worried about my dad and mum. I forgot about the individual at work who was pointing out mistakes in my work.

I forgot. My focus and efforts were on how to help that girl. A man who was getting off at the same station as her escorted her to a police officer who just happened to be stood on the same platform we had pulled into.

Seeing people come together to help another is a beautiful thing. But why do we only need to help someone when the are desperate for it? Why can’t we just do it anyway without someone gasping for air or crying? Why can’t we do more of it?

The answer is that as a human race, we are too wrapped up in ourselves most of the time, harsh but true. There have been times when I have been sitting on a seat on the train or bus and an elderly person is stood up and because I have been so wrapped up in my own head I have missed the opportunity to help.

Why do we have to wait for a snow storm to arrive before we knock on a neighbours door?

When I walked into work that day, my legs were shaking from what had just happened but equally I was amused that only an hour ago I’d declared I was available and almost immediately presented with a situation where I could either help or watch.

I meet so many people who want miracles but aren’t prepared to put the work in, life isn’t just about receiving, it’s about giving too.

Science say’s it’s good for your health and I can prove it, The Mental Health Foundation states that the word for helping others is ‘Altruism’ – this means when we put other’s needs before our own.

When you help others it brings a good / positive feeling inside you, this stems from your chemicals shifting and producing those nice feelings (taking away the science chat here!)

Would you like to feel good, positive at least once every day?

If the answer is yes then read on and if the answer is no then read on, you have nothing to loose and everything to gain. 

There are a number of ways you can help others, some simple and easy tips can be found on The Mental Health Foundation.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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