How many people do you care about? Do you have family or close friends with whom you feel a strong sense of love and responsibility? Are you in a profession with caregiving in your job description? Do you volunteer regularly or donate to charities? You need these things to stay emotionally stable, whether you realize it or not!
Regardless of how you decide to worry, you are doing yourself and your brain a huge favor! Believe it or not, the act of caring is perfect for your mental health. But how is it possible? Is that really true? To answer those questions, here are 12 ways caring for someone keeps them emotionally stable.
1. You feel valued
Caring for someone generally results in appreciation for that person. You can feel and see the value your actions bring, and as you grow closer to the person you care for, you, as you are, are also more loved and valued.
Sometimes, in a world riddled with expectations and pressures, it is good to remember that you, as you are, matter to the people around you. Caring for these people reminds you even more of what you are important to, and you can make a difference in someone’s life, even in seemingly simple and innocuous ways.
2. Doing nice things is rewarding
The brain has a series of processes that define what, consciously or unconsciously, we see as a reward. For example, your brain probably lights up your pleasure centers when you eat candy or receive certain compliments. Turns out, caring for others activates these same places!
This means that you can get the same satisfaction you get from unhealthy habits just by caring for someone. It may take a while and a bit of effort before this effect is fully felt, but it certainly works and that can help you feel more emotionally stable.
3. Positive feelings are contagious
The smile itself is already contagious, and you are much more likely to smile when you are around people who also smile. This means that you make them smile when you care about others, which makes you smile too!
But beyond that, positive thinking and emotions, in general, are quite contagious. You’ve probably noticed how easily you mimic someone’s actions when you pay attention to them, and science says that humans do the same with feelings.
Basically, if you can say that someone is happy, you are also more likely to feel happy. When you care about others, you are giving them great emotions and feelings that will come back to you. It is a wonderful way to live!
4. Teach empathy
Empathy it is a crucial part of emotional intelligence. It allows you to put yourself in the shoes of others, appreciate their experiences, and understand where they come from. It is an instrumental skill that allows you to become a better and wiser person.
When you have more empathy, you can reap many benefits beyond what you would have hoped to get from the simple act of caring. Here are some examples:
Better communication skills
Empathy reduces misunderstandings by allowing you to see things from other people’s point of view. It also allows you to communicate in ways that others are more likely to understand.
Reduction of anxiety and depression
Those with high levels of empathy handle their emotions better, as they have a better perception of their feelings and those of others. The ability to resonate with the people around you can also reduce the severity of secondhand stress, allowing you to separate that stress from yourself.
A healthier environment
Any social environment devoid of empathy is doomed to failure as everyone will be too self-focused and unable to see others accurately. High empathy allows you to form bonds with people whom you can distinguish from the heart, and makes you a good part of these groups with the same level of care for others.
5. Promote reciprocity
Although you should not help others solely to receive favors in return or to pay someone who has helped you, the fact is that most studies I agree that it is not uncommon for human beings to be motivated by reciprocity.
But what does that have to do with emotional stability? The most obvious answer is this: Caring for others means that others will be more inclined to perform their own acts of compassion, both towards you and towards others in general. For example:
- Bringing food to meetings increases the chance that other attendees will bring their own food, making for a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
- Caring for someone in your time of need will increase your chances of being there for you in your time of need as they remember how kind you were to them.
- Being compassionate to a person means that they are likely to think of you more positively and be kinder when they perceive you or interact with you.
6. It gives you a more positive outlook on life
When you actively care for others, you gain a new perspective on life. You will meet other people who also care about those around them and will feel the benefits of being cared for in return. All of these things combined can increase your positive thinking about the world, changing your perspective. For example, you can:
- Realize that there are many selfless people in the world.
- Reduce skepticism regarding acts of kindness or be careful
- Develop a more pure and genuine way of thinking about goals and daily efforts.
- You are more likely to accept the kindness of others as you learn that everyone needs someone to take care of them sometimes.
- Focus more energy on doing positive things that involve caring for others
- View your friendships and relationships more brilliantly
- Feeling more hopeful in general about life and the way people behave.
- See that the world is not as bleak as you originally thought, as small acts of caring can make a big difference
- Realize the importance of seemingly minor kind actions in the people you care for.
When you worry about someone else, you need to stop focusing on yourself and your problems for a while. For people struggling with stress and anxiety, this can be helpful as it takes the focus off of personal concerns and sometimes allows for a subconscious reassessment of those concerns.
Of course, if you are stressed out from the responsibility of caring for someone, this will not work the same way. But in most cases, taking your focus off your problems can give you a break so you can reexamine them with more positive thinking and a fresh perspective later. You get renewed energy from the “rest” That will allow you to better overcome them and stay emotionally stable!
8. You feel like you are correcting mistakes
We have talked about how seeing happy people can make you happy. Unfortunately, this also happens the other way around: seeing sad people can make you sad too. The more familiar you are with someone and the closer the bond you share, the more likely you are to “pick up” their emotions, either positive or negative.
But there is a silver lining here. When you do something loving to help someone in your life feel better, your brain overlaps the act of kindness to yourself. You will get the feeling that you have “straightened out” something negative, and you will also feel the relief and happiness that comes with the relief of the negative burden that the person you care for.
9. You can feel more motivated
The act of caring can often involve a great deal of emotional demands. In excess, these can certainly harm mental health and positive thinking. But at a moderate or even reasonably professional level, it can improve your motivation!
A study found that professional caregivers actually experience increased vitality and motivation when faced with the daily emotional demands of their loved ones. This often enhanced their emotional regulation skills and even carried over into their personal lives outside of the workplace.
10. Solidify a friendly identity
Most people consider themselves nice people. As such, performing acts of caring can help further solidify that identity, according to studies. Might:
- Be proud of yourself for living up to your perception of yourself
- Perceive yourself as a better person, allowing you to improve your self-perception.
- Feeling more anxious to continue performing these acts of caring, forming a cycle of kindness and self-esteem.
- Be more satisfied with the way you spend your time and energy
11. Keeps you physically healthy
People often forget how much health anxiety can affect their emotional state. Health problems can also cause financial problems, which add even more to the stress that comes from poor health to begin with.
Investigation indicates that those who volunteer are 33% less likely to experience health problems than those who do not actively perform acts of kindness. Specific health improvements to stay emotionally stable include:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Better cardiovascular health
- Reduced risk of dementia
- Better immunity
- Longer life
12. You get to connect
When you care about someone, you are deepening a social bond and forging a stronger connection with that person. It is already known that acts of kindness alone help create closer relationships, and it is commonly known that fostering better relationships, if they are healthy, leads to better relationships. positive thinking and mood.
In other words, caring deepens a bond that helps you feel happier. Even caring in indirect ways, such as participating in charity events or volunteering at a nonprofit organization, helps you bond with your fellow volunteers. Combined with the knowledge that you are helping people, all of this can improve your mood!
Caring means compassionand compassion means happiness. Although the simple act of caring cannot completely cure sadness, it can certainly help and can make the difference between emotional stability and a lack of it.
Caring for someone is not always easy, and it goes without saying that caring for too much and not receiving similar care from anyone can result in emotional exhaustion. But for the most part, the act of caring is great for your mental health and can keep you emotionally stable from multiple angles and on many levels.