Enable or Empower Someone Else
Sometimes we forget that we have the power to enable someone else. You can do this through a formal tutoring or mentor program, but also in your own life. Take someone who is new to your business under your wing and help that person discover his or her own potential. It feels good -- and the time you spend helping someone else is time away from the stress of your own problems. You'll have less anxiety and you're less likely to feel depressed.
Use the News
It doesn't help that we're bombarded with news 24/7. It's easy to think we're over our heads in poverty, natural and man-made disasters, and violence with no way to solve these problems. But try watching the news with a different perspective. See events and situations unfolding around you as opportunities to help, not problems to fix. (The goal of working in a soup kitchen is not necessarily to end all hunger forever; it's to feed a hungry person that day.) Use the news as a way to determine how to align your values with your actions. This can take you from a passive recipient of bad news to an active member of your community. And the more active you are, the better you'll feel about yourself!
Give Outside Your Circle
Try giving outside of your immediate circle. You'll meet new people and create new relationships. This will take you out of social isolation and give you new opportunities to grow and learn who you are. It's easy to give to the people you love when you feel like it. The real challenge is finding ways to make a habit of giving to people you don't know -- and committing to it!
Special thanks to Terri Trespicio, senior editor of Body+Soul, for sharing her article, "What You Get From Giving," from the magazine's September issue.