How Giving Back Helps Us NOW

You can reduce YOUR anxiety by giving back.

We recently wrote about the importance of  giving back during the COVID-19 virus. Today, we consider how  giving back helps us NOW. Especially with regard to the anxiety and stress we feel.

Marty Nemko,  recently wrote about “Giving as Healing: A Tool for Enhancing Your Mental Health.” Published with Psychology Today:

After a talk by famed psychiatrist Karl Menninger, an audience member asked what to do about a patient who felt a nervous breakdown coming on. Everyone expected Menninger to recommend drugs or in-depth therapy. Instead, he suggested, “Leave your house, find someone in need, and do something to help that person.”

Indeed, my clients and I have found that giving can be healing. That may be especially important today. The double-whammy of the COVID lockdown and racial roiling is making many people sadder, angrier, or more anxious.

These are three giving ideas from Nemko — which will help you feel better too:

    • Do something for neighbors without their knowing it. For example, toss the newspaper from the sidewalk onto their doorsteps. More generous: How about doing a task your neighbor would appreciate, for example, pulling the weeds from his or her front lawn?
    • Do some pro-bono work. For example, mental or physical health professionals might see some more clients for free.
    • Put a flower on someone’s doorstep, anonymously or not.

For other ideas from Nemko, click the image.

How Giving Back Helps Us NOW
Source: Pixabay, Public Domain

 

Rewarding Our Brains to Break Bad Habits

Two non-threatening animations from Dr. Jud

On Monday, we presented an infographic to help reduce anxiety. PLEASE take a look.

Now, we offer a brief discussion and two clever videos on changing bad habits by Jud Brewer, M.D., Ph.D.: “Dr. Jud [as he is called] is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University, as well as a research affiliate at MIT.”

As per Dr. Jud:

“How are habits formed? What is the biggest secret behind our mind’s choices? Why is it so hard to break some of our most unhelpful habits, including worry and panic during this challenging time? How can we upgrade our mind’s habit system?”

Video 1: The Habit Loop — Anxiety

The first animation deals with the three stages of the habit loop: trigger->behavior->reward.

Video 2: Breaking Bad Habits

The second animation notes some recent research that Dr. Jud’s lab has done to help people quit smoking and stop overeating. And it provides simple tips on how you can learn to leverage your own brain for habit change.