Practicing happiness in uncertain times often begins with doing something for others. Research suggests that happier people are more likely to be empathetic to others, especially when it’s needed the most. Our empathy gives us the ability to want to understand what someone else is going through as well as the desire to help alleviate the suffering. In essence, we are trying to share the pain so we can heal together.
We understand that there is great sadness and strife around the world that is seemingly out of our control. It may seem futile to even attempt to help and you may not even know where to begin. The good news is you can turn those feelings of helplessness into helpfulness with empathy.
You can start by asking yourself these important questions when you see people in unfortunate situations:
- What are these people feeling right now?
- How would I feel if I were in that situation?
- What would I need if I were in that situation?
This exercise can help build your empathy by making you more willing to help and may even give some good ideas on how you can make a difference. A good place to start your empathy journey is by putting it action to where people in this world are really suffering.
Currently, the people of Ukraine are in dire need of assistance due to an unprecedented attack on their country. Organizations like UNICEF have a long history of relentlessly helping children and mothers get emergency food, water and health care in countries being ravaged by war, such as Ukraine.
Even though you may never see the end result of your acts of empathy, if we all collectively continue to focus on others instead of ourselves, a tiny ripple of goodness can turn into a tidal wave of greatness that may just make the world a better place for all to live.