Stress is something that most of us are familiar with. In fact, surveys conducted by the American Psychological Association suggest that many people feel that their stress levels are more than they can handle. It can be all too easy to end up feeling frustrated, lost, burned out, and overworked when you’re dealing with work, commitments, family obligations, money, and everything else. While you might already be dealing with your own stress in a healthy way with strategies like going to therapy, meditation, journaling, exercise, and getting enough sleep, research has shown that helping others in need can also be very beneficial to your own health both physically and mentally.
If you have been able to get back in control of your own stress levels and are happier for it, there are many benefits of sharing what you know with others in need. Here’s how you can benefit from helping others overcome their stress.
First of all, helping others is a very rewarding experience. There is little in life that matches up to the sense of pride that you will feel knowing that you were the person who was there for somebody when they needed it the most. Being able to see somebody overcome their stress and go on to thrive after speaking to you and listening to your advice is a very powerful feeling that will motivate you to be a better person and help even more. Whether you’re lending a sympathetic ear to somebody who needs to vent about an awful day or helping somebody learn breathing exercises to manage panic attacks, nothing compares to knowing that you were really able to make a difference in somebody’s life.
The funny thing about helping others is that it’s often the helper who ends up learning the most. Putting yourself out there as a source of support for people who are in need of somebody right now gives you a chance to learn things that you may not have known before. Peer support work gives you the chance to talk to people from different walks of life who may have had totally different experiences from you. It can be very humbling at times and might even make you realize just how lucky you are and really change your perspective on your own life.
Perhaps you are so dedicated to helping others that you would like to pursue it as a full-time career. If this sounds like you, spending as much time as you can to help others not only allows you to do something worthwhile with your time but can also provide you with valuable work experience to add to your resume. For example, you could become a certified peer support specialist and spend your spare time speaking to people who need somebody to listen to them about the problems that they are facing. It is an ideal stepping stone for anybody who strives towards a career in a caring profession such as therapy, nursing, social work, or teaching.
While money is never usually the main motivator for those who want to help others, it’s always a bonus to earn something for the work that you do. And thanks to Hushley, you can find a peer support job that you can do from home and earn money for the support that you provide. This peer support app is designed to connect people who need to talk with peers who are willing to listen. All you need to do is download the app and you can support others from the comfort of your own home via text or call. To get started with Hushley, you will need to have a valid certification as a peer support worker, known as the National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) Certification. Once you have this you can start helping others anonymously at times that suit you.
Knowing that you have been able to give back and do something good for somebody else releases all manner of feel-good chemicals in your brain. Helping others overcome their own stress and being there to listen to them when they need to talk to somebody about their problems can actually help you feel happier. People deal with stress in different ways and while there’s no doubt that you are going to hear some tough stories and deal with tough situations as you support others, it can also help to give you a sense of purpose and undeniable happiness and satisfaction that comes with knowing you have been able to do something really worthwhile and actually make a change, no matter how big or small.
It’s a common misconception that only people who are fully in control and have brilliant lives with no problems are in a position to help others. There’s a reason why therapists are required to go to therapy themselves; nobody has it completely perfect! When you offer your support to those who are in need of it, you might find that doing so helps you to find the answers that you need and reduce your own stress levels. Often, it can be easier to give somebody else advice than it is for us to take advice ourselves, but as you listen to people who might be in a similar situation with similar problems to you and offer support to help them overcome it, what you need to do in your own life might become clearer to you.
And, supporting others often means that they share their success stories with you, which can be a great source of inspiration. As you help others overcome their stress and worry, you may learn about new coping mechanisms that work for you too.
Many people who are willing to spend their time helping others overcome stress do this because they know how it feels to be in their position. And even if you have done a lot of work to get to where you are today, it can often still feel like you were alone in feeling the way that you did, especially if nobody around you seemed to truly understand what you were going through at the time. Supporting others with their own stressful experiences can be very validating for anybody who has been through this themselves. Speaking to people who you can completely relate to and empathize with because you know exactly how they feel will send you a sure sign that you’re definitely not alone.
Offering your help and support to others who need it is certainly beneficial for your mental health; however, research has found that it can also benefit your physical health and wellbeing. One study found that people who spent their time helping others by volunteering reduced their blood pressure by a massive 40%, and other studies have found that helping others actually reduced the symptoms of chronic pain in participants. This could be down to the fact that helping others generally makes people happier in life, along with providing them with more social opportunities that can reduce the stress that comes with feeling lonely.
If you’ve overcome stress and are a natural helper who wants to support others as they go through the same, doing so will not only benefit them, but it can also help you.