How Focusing On Others Can Bring Joy To Yourself
We live in a self-obsessed culture. The majority of magazines and self-help books are focused on bettering yourself, becoming smarter and stronger, and growing to be the most powerful person you can be. While becoming your best self is a worthy pursuit, extended self-obsession often leads to the depths of misery. We are all flawed people, and when we think too much about ourselves those flaws become amplified.
How, then, do we temper our fascination with ourselves? Turning to focus on others can help you avoid being drawn into depression. We are humans who—by our very nature—live in community, so why do we think that focusing on our solitary selves will yield health and happiness? Our culture has taught us to be as selfish as possible with the mentality that every person is competition, but practicing selflessness is the key to happiness.
Try, just for one day, to act in a way that puts others before yourself. Let the person with one item go in front of you in the grocery store. Share your lunch. Give a dollar to a good cause. Let your spouse or friend have your full attention while he or she is speaking. Respond patiently and graciously. Then, at the day’s end, appraise how you feel. You may think that you will feel drained from a full day spent serving others, but in fact you will find that pouring into other people has somehow resulted in you yourself being filled.
It is not easy to turn outward and practice selflessness. To get the help you need to shift your focus away from self-obsession, contact the Community Presbyterian Counseling Center in San Ramon, California. Our professional staff is here to help you move your mindset to practice greater selflessness, bringing increased joy into your life.