When we are in emotional pain it is difficult to think of anything but the pain we are experiencing and the cause of the pain. We can be “stuck” in the pain and that keeps us from healing and moving forward in our lives.
Emotional pain, like the physical pain we experience from accidents, injuries or illness, can heal with the right treatment plan. The emotional healing “treatment plan” includes several components; support and love from those who care about us, professional support to help us process the trauma which caused the pain, time to process the experience, an opportunity to begin to enjoy pleasurable activities, and something we don’t often think about:
Doing something for someone else.
When we think about the needs of others and provide service to them we feel better and in that process we begin to heal from our own emotional pain. By helping others we actually help ourselves!
Thinking about the needs of others helps put our own situation, emotional pain and healing into perceptive. By providing service to another person in need we provide a healing service to ourselves.
Where and how can we provide service to others?
We can look within our own family, neighborhood and community to find opportunities no matter our age or how limited we might be in mobility or resources. Some ways to serve others includes:
- Helping with chores around the home including helping younger children with dressing, eating, playing.
- Running errands for an older person
- Reading to children or homebound adults
- Participating in community/volunteer projects with the family or youth groups.
- Connecting by phone (or in writing) with other family members
- Making calls to homebound/ill adults through Church or service organizations
- Baking for Church, school or community events
- Providing rides for older adults to Doctor appts, shopping etc
- Holding/rocking babies in hospital wards (nursery, pediatrics)
- Reading to and with young children through school/community programs
- Volunteer with organizations in your community such as the United Way, School, Library,
local prison, foster child program, Red Cross or other non -profit agencies.
Down in their hearts, wise men know this truth: the only way to help yourself is to help others. ~
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