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Friday, September 23, 2011

Rx: Help Others

I recently was introduced to a gem of a book by Dr. Stephen Post. In the book, Dr. Post relates an experience he had with his family of being forced to move from their home to another place. While this was as physically dislocating as you would guess, it was emotionally and spiritually damaging as well.

I think many of us are living in an environment where dislocation – due to things such as loss of a job, our health, our money – is an ever-present possibility. These have the power to turn our lives upside down, and create an environment where we may become physically, emotionally, and spiritually unhealthy.

When faced with such an experience, how can we move back into health? Here is an excerpt from the book that may answer that question:

Rx: help others. This little prescription has the side effect of benefiting the helper, so long as one does not become overwhelmed. Science supports this assertion: giving help to others measurably reduces the giver’s stress; improves health and well-being in surprising and powerful ways; renews our optimism about what is possible; helps us connect to family, friends, place, and lots of amazing people; allows the deep, profound joy of our humanity to flow through us and out into the world; and improves our sense of self-worth. - Post, Stephen G. (2011-01-14). The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times. Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition.

I recommend reading the book, but whether or not you do, if your life, or that of someone you know, is in a state of dislocation, consider reaching out to provide some help. Doing so will benefit the other person, and may be just the thing the doctor ordered to encourage your own wellness.


Blog posting provided by:

Michael Snowdon, CFP ®

Michael is president of WealthRidge, a wealth management and financial planning firm, and is a professor emeritus of the College of Financial Planning. His focus in financial planning is to coach people in the process of meeting their goals and achieving their dreams.