Stress and Altruism

Moments of stress can prove to be pretty selfish because the ego directs all attention toward the self and then often magnifies things out of proportion. As bad as we might have it, there is always someone who has it worse. This brings to mind the anonymous quote: “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” Walking down the street one day with a friend, we saw a man begging for money on the sidewalk. Katy didn’t hesitate to open her purse, pull out a dollar bill and proceed to give it to the man—with a smile. Knowing Katy’s financial situation I was a bit surprised by her actions. Walking away Katy shared with me that when you engage in a random act of kindness you make the world a better place, no matter how small the effort. Not only does the stranger benefit by your generosity, the giver benefits as well. Opening your heart in times of stress is one of the greatest coping techniques there is. Altruism might be best described as a selfless act of generosity, where nothing in return is expected, but when love is shared, everyone benefits. In times of stress, when love is shared it also puts our problems in proportion to the bigger picture of life.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
A random act of kindness needn’t involve a monetary transaction. It could be a genuine smile to the supermarket cashier, forgoing the parking space closest to the front door of a store or opening the door for somebody. In helping others in a humble gesture we make the world a better place (and these days the world needs it). So take a moment in the course of today to share a random act of kindness. You will see that what goes around comes around. Also… do a Google search for the Desisterada poem and read it before you go to be tonight.

• Links Worth Noting:
As Congress and the President work this week on an energy bill to less the green house emissions, I came across this link regarding electric cars. Some are calling this the sequel to the documentary: Who Killed the Electric Car. Enjoy.

• Photo of the Day:
While in Iceland last year, I stopped at a place on the infamous Ring Road where a mountain glacier meets the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland is a beautiful country and I HIGHLY recommend a trip there if you get the chance. This photo reminds me that being in nature often puts our problems in proportion to the bigger picture of life.

• Quote for the Day:
“The ultimate purpose in life is to shed light on the mere purpose of being.”
—Carl G. Jung

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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