When we feel worried, we get nearsighted. We only see what is right in front of us. When we feel worried, that small screen of vision is filled with our concerns. We have trouble seeing the forest for the trees, so to speak.
So how do we broaden that lens? How can we shift the perspective to include the bigger picture? One powerful way to do this is to GIVE BACK. Sure, we have our troubles. But maybe they’re not SO bad compared to how other people are suffering. Now, the goal of this is NOT to have a contest about whose concerns are the biggest or most important. Rather, it’s to see that there is a world beyond our worries.
While the altruism and empathy this task creates is a gift in and of itself, the benefits are even greater. The greatest is perspective. We may be the center of our own world, but we are not the center of the whole universe! Helping other people connects us to something larger than ourselves. Helping other people shifts focus outward – which is key to getting out of our own heads where the worries tend to trap us! There is secondary gain of feeling good about easing someone else’s burden, which puts our own in perspective.
Giving makes us feel connected, which provides comfort. Working with your child to find meaningful causes to support helps show them how important it is to look out for each other. That we can help each other. We can DO something rather than feel like we are at the mercy of our feelings, our own little worlds. And when we do that, the result is a broader perspective, and more smiles.