Your newborn’s unmarked skin, its perfect smile, the innocent sounds meant just for you. You commit to protect your child’s well-being. But how well can you?
Much of your baby’s health isn’t programmed in its genes but will be determined by outside influences. So you tell yourself that you will set an example by showing how to eat right, exercise, not smoke or abuse drugs.
But as your child grows, how successful will you be against the challenges your adolescent will feel from peers, social media, advertising, and the constant engagement with electronic devices? And what if you fail?
One out of every three children will develop diabetes during their lifetime because of being overweight or obese. And the chance of being overweight among 12 to 19 year-olds has tripled in the past 20 years.
Here are some additional federal government’s statistics: Nearly 30 percent of Americans are considered completely sedentary, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of any physical activity, which negatively affects their health and how long they will live.
But self-esteem along with adult guidance, can effectively take on peer pressure.
So how can you help build your youngsters’ self-esteem, early on, before they will be challenged? Not all youth will be good-looking, good students, strong athletes, have winning personalities, and know how to dress well. Low self-esteem creates awkwardness and discomfort–and many youth as well as adults–escape these feelings by eating excessively or distancing themselves from others or take drugs.
Yet every youngster can excel at one activity that research shows does increase self-esteem: helping others.
The thank-you’s, hugs, smiles, and handshakes received from the individual they’ve helped send a message to the young helper: “People like you, they need you, and you can have a positive affect on people. You play an important role in their lives”
In my book, “The Healing Power of Doing Good”, I created the term “helpers high,” which is used internationally to describe the strong, uplifting feelings experienced by those who help others on a regular basis (about 100 hours a year) and have personal contact with those they help. The majority of these volunteers–of all ages–report feelings of increased self-esteem.
The big challenge for youth to volunteer is getting started. Because it’s doing something different, most youngsters feel uncomfortable at first and are not driven to volunteerism.
But that brings up the commitment you made to your newborn. Parents say they can’t think of activities for the entire family to participate in. However, volunteering is one you can do together and boost everyone’s self-esteem.
Family volunteering is a way to fight threats to your childrens’ health. Become part of “The Healing Power of Doing Good.”
If you’ve seen how volunteering can help the self-esteem of youth, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explaining how to experience better health can often be frustrating,
Can I do better telling you how to earn more money?
“The research is clear, you’ll live longer,” I emphasize when I lecture about the health benefits gained by certain kinds of volunteering that reduce stress. When discussing my study involving more that 3,300 persons—and where the term “helper’s high” was created and first introduced—I describe the physical and emotional health gains enjoyed from helping strangers regularly. This study was the forerunner for Washington’s 2007 report on the “Health Benefits of Volunteering.” That document dramatically declared that there was now enough research to show “that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates.”
Yet the longer-life promise has created just a moderate growth in personal-contact volunteering, which produces emotional highs and endorphins, that buffer stress. That is what is now prompting me to talk about how helping others can lead to employment and also earning more money on the job. Here are four reasons why volunteerism benefits your bank account as well as your body:
–The interview: Job interviewers say they need to find employees who can deal with diverse groups in our ever more heterogeneous work force. Volunteering is one of the few ways you have to prove you have that experience.
–Hard working: There are the unemployed who continue to search for a job, and there are those who, while searching for employment, can describe their volunteer activities during this tough period. Which applicants can better show they go the extra mile?
–Creativity: An important but difficult attribute for the employer to identify. The applicant who volunteers can discuss the difficulties of reaching out and getting through to the poor, the immigrant, the school dropout, the disabled—whomever she or he is working with. There is nothing more creative than being able to affect the behavior of another person, to counsel, influence and mentor them in a positive way.
–Trust: The concern of every employer about every new potential employee. Someone donating their time to help others appears to the interviewer to be someone far less likely to take advantage of people or a situation. They are deemed more reliable and trustworthy.
In conclusion, perhaps you feel that you are so young that the ability to add years to your life by helping others isn’t a compelling enough advantage at your age. Then consider volunteering, becoming a mentor, or providing a helping hand to others as a way to obtain employment or receive more recognition on the job, that could lead to more income. These are challenges facing everyone in the midst of this recession and especially confronting the unemployed younger person.
And along with that paycheck and the path to a potential career, the research will throw in that you’ll live longer by experiencing the helper’s high.
If you have found new employment or have been recognized in the workplace because you have helped others through volunteerism, please let me know. Email me at email@example.com.