Your Doctor's Feel Good Prescription: Service
Almost everyone recognizes that helping others makes you feel better about yourself. On the non-profit HELPGUIDE.org, we are reminded that volunteer service combats depression, increases self-confidence, keeps us physically healthy, helps to increase our social and relationship skills, and helps us make new friends and connections that pay off in personal satisfaction and even, at times, in employment opportunities.
As a physician seeing patients on a daily basis for nearly 40 years, I have observed that few things raise a person’s self esteem and at the same time, paradoxically enough, bring a sense of humility and gratitude for ones own blessings, as much as acts of selfless service to those whose needs are greater than our own, or even to the larger community that we’re a part of. At the end of even just a few hours of heart-felt service, especially if given in the company of fellow volunteers, I always feel at peace with the world, and also feel like the world is a better place than I was thinking it was before participating in such an activity.
By Dane C. McBride, M. D.