Wellbeing Wednesdays week five – give

December 9, 2020 | by Lynette Mayo

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Tis’ the season of goodwill, or should it be the season to give more than just presents?

This week, Wellbeing Wednesday looks at the fifth of the Five Ways to Wellbeing – Give.

What is giving and why is it important?

Giving is the act of freely parting with something and offering to someone or something beyond ourselves – a stranger, friend, family member, a charitable organisation, our local community or wider-community.

There are many benefits that giving makes to our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. When we give to others; it promotes a sense of trust and cooperation in our relationships. By giving we strengthen our relationships with others making them more positive, this is a key to good mental health.  By showing gratitude we become closer to one another, and we can all agree this is something we all need right now.

Looking at giving at a more scientific level, there are a number of studies that Giving has an effect on our moods. Evidence from neuroscience suggests that giving activates the ‘reward’ area of our brains, which means we experience good feelings when we give to others.

We can all agree that this year has been an unusual one and our boxing community has given so much in many ways. Our community is a strong one and we have pulled together and given more than just time. For this we are thankful.

How can we give?

Whoever we are, what ever we do and wherever we are, we can make giving a part of our daily lives. It’s the little things that make a difference to our mental health and wellbeing, by trying to make giving part of our daily life it can be a positive step towards living a happier more fulfilling life.

Giving is an act of kindness and kindness spreads;

Colour Your World With Kindness – YouTube

Share with us how you have been giving this year; share your story, video or photograph.

“ I’ve been finding small ways of being useful. Nothing heroic. Just the simple everyday stuff, holding doors open, smiling at strangers. I think it’s easy to forget the small stuff but they’re just as important I reckon”. Charlie Bryant, Boxer, Islington Boxing Club

“This is something I have done now for lots of years by giving my time as a volunteer both in boxing and children’s support services. Volunteering makes me so so happy, it’s definitely one of the most rewarding things that you could possibly do in life, especially giving back some of your time to something you love, the feeling I get volunteering as a coach is just the best! I’m excited to start as Lead Coach for the new Northamptonshire Squad coming in 2021 which will give me the chance to give back to the county as a whole”. Phil Wilson, Coach, Kingsheath Boxing Academy.

Try some small acts of giving, today you could;

  • Say hello to everyone you see
  • Phone a relative or friend who needs support or company
  • Ask someone how they are and really listen to the answer
  • Offer to shop for our vulnerable neighbours

Remember to give to yourself

We can all agree that this year has been like any other and we know we will never forget, and hopefully you will look back and feel proud of how you managed. Whilst it is important for our mental health and wellbeing to give to others, it is equally if not more important to take time and nourish ourselves. We should remember to prioritise our own personal health, fitness and wellbeing.

If you don’t give to yourself you can’t perform to your full capability. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so you must remember to charge your internal battery. Giving to yourself is important because YOU are important!

How to train your self compassion;

  1. Notice what you feel and experience throughout the day – We are often so busy throughout the day, it is so easy not to notice what is happening within us. Try through the day to turn your attention to yourself and you body and ask yourself “What am I experiencing right now?” and “How do I really feel?” Listen to your feelings and give to yourself what you need.
  2. Discover how you respond in difficult situations Do you tend to criticise yourself? To avoid emotions? If you were your own parent, are you the loving parent to yourself or the cold and cynical parent?
  3. Put your hand on your heart In all situations where you encounter severe emotions – anger, irritation, drainage, shame, sadness, put your hand on your heart as a reminder to be kind and supportive to yourself.
  4. Identify what you need in each situation Ask questions like – What do I need right now? How can I give myself that? Who can I ask for help? “When we meet something challenging everyday, our automated response often overestimates the underlying needs we have.
  5. Give yourself what you need.

Remember: Stay safe, be kind give to others and give to yourself.