If you turn on the news and immediately feel overwhelmed by all that seems wrong in the world, you’re definitely not alone. It’s natural to feel like you want to help, but it can be hard to know where to start. You don’t have to run a billion-dollar foundation or be a superhero to make a positive impact on others’ lives. These 7 steps are a way to begin making a difference in the world.
1. Take Care of Yourself.
Too often we are told that we need to put others before ourselves, but if we aren’t focusing on our own well-being, we can be very little help to others. Make sure to prioritize the actions that will help you feel better, such as hydrating, exercising, positive self-talk, and healthy eating. Antioxidant-rich Superberries Aronia berry products are a delicious choice for increasing the health benefits of every meal. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and compounds that can positively impact your body and mind.
2. Eliminate Toxic Behaviors
Eliminate toxic behaviors in your own life. Sometimes we inadvertently harm ourselves and others with our actions. Gossiping about other people, for example, is one activity that can seem harmless, but it really isn’t. Other common toxic behaviors include comparing ourselves to others or being overly competitive, being jealous, judging people, talking negatively to and about others, seeking excessive attention and affirmation, and holding grudges. Though we have all done some of these things, we can make a positive difference for ourselves and those around us if we focus on positive alternatives.
3. Show Up and Listen Without Judgment
When we show up for people authentically, we need to listen to them and hear what they are saying, without trying to fix their lives or judge their choices or stressors. Remember that when we are really holding space for others, it is not helpful to center ourselves with our own thoughts or stories, no matter how much we feel they relate. Valuing someone enough to hear what they are saying can make a difference in people’s lives. Make sure not to share their stories without their permission.
Whether you volunteer at a local non-profit, at a school or for your elderly neighbor, doing something solely to help others (and not to look good for Instagram) is a good way to make a difference in the world.
5. Be a Good Neighbor
Make a point to know who your neighbors are, keep your outdoor living space tidy, don’t be excessively noisy or disruptive, and help others when you can. If you take walks, take a trash bag and pick up trash along the way. Though it might seem like you’re not making a difference, you are positively impacting the lives of all of your neighbors.
6. Be Actively Kind and Grateful
Compliment people authentically. Greet people in the hallways at work. Take a breath before you respond in a stressful situation. Ask yourself throughout your day how you can be kind in any given situation. It will make a big difference for your own attitude and your experiences with others. Saying thank you, whether in person or through a note or email is another way to positively impact your and others’ lives.
7. Check in with People
Check in with people and spend quality time. We are all so busy these days that it can be easy to lose contact with people we love. Even if you don’t have time to get together often, it can really help to take a minute to text a friend, send a card or email, or make a call to them on the phone. When you can spend time together, make sure you are mentally present so you can spend quality time together, even if you’re doing an active hangout like running errands together.
You are able to help change the world by changing yourself and how you interact with others. Big changes often start with small actions. You will find that your positive attitude and actions will help others spread their positivity, too.