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7 Simple Ways to Start Doing Social Good Today

7 Simple Ways to Start Doing Social Good Today

At any given point, the world is facing crises that seem overwhelming. Today, we face political upheaval, war, famine, economic hardship, hatred, and environmental issues. If I wanted to focus on the negatives, I could continue that list for pages and pages. It’s certainly easy to get frustrated and think that nothing can possibly be done to make things any better.

The world becomes a better place when ordinary people commit to doing social good every day. If you aren’t sure where to begin, keep reading. Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.

Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.

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1. Be Alert And Mindful

One thing that I am very guilty of is walking around in my own world. If I’m not staring at my phone, I am often immersed in a book. The problem with this is that it causes me to miss opportunities to do small acts of kindness or charity.

I’ve committed to changing that a bit. I’m working hard to pay attention to the world around me. By doing this, I’m finding ways to do little things such as giving up my seat on the train for a man who looked simply exhausted, or helping a woman to corral her dog. These aren’t life changing things, but there’s always a piece of litter that can be picked up, a person who needs a door held open, or someone who just needs a kind word.

2. Change How And Where You Spend Your Money

Money isn’t the most important thing in the world. However, when it comes to doing positive things, it sure has a lot of power. In fact, the simple purchasing decisions that you make on a daily basis can really make a difference. For example, most people buy tickets to concerts and sporting events several times each year. Imagine the good that could be done if everybody decided to use Good Deed Seats to purchase those tickets.

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Next, take some time to think about where you go shopping in your community. Are you spending your money at big box stores? They are often more convenient and less expensive, but consider the benefit to your community if you started shopping in locally owned stores.

3. Show Kindness When Interacting With Disagreeable People

You’re trying to make a return and the customer service clerk is being rude. You’ve waited twenty minutes just to get a cup of coffee, and the server brings you regular instead of black. Somebody cuts in front of you at the store. When these things happen, it’s tempting to snap at people, to match wits, or to complain about them.

Before you do that, stop. It’s impossible to know whether or not somebody is incompetent or intentionally rude, or if they are having a really bad day. Try hard to give people the benefit of the doubt. Doing so never hurts you, and it could mean a lot to a hurting stranger.

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4. Volunteer Today!

Since college, I’ve always spent a few days over the Christmas holidays volunteering at a homeless shelter. That’s not a humblebrag. In fact, lots of people do the same thing. In fact, that’s where the problem lies. Us human beings are great at being generous in the face of the holiday season, or when tragedy strikes. The question is, where are we the rest of the time?

There are people and organizations in your community that can use  your help today. Don’t wait for Christmas. Call a food bank in your area and ask if you can come in to help today. Walk into an animal shelter and ask if they need help cleaning cages. There are immediate needs all around you.

5. Do The Charitable Things That You Have Been Putting Off

As I write this, I am acutely aware of a box of clothing that I haven’t worn in months. It’s sitting in  my storage closet waiting for me to drop it off at the local women’s shelter.  I am guessing that I am not alone in this.

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If you’ve been intending to donate food, goods, or money to a charity, do it today. Don’t put it off any longer. If you keep meaning to start a compost pile, or to finally begin recycling, there’s no better time to start than today.

6. Change The Way You Consume

Everybody likes stuff. Unfortunately, consumerism truly does have a negative impact on the world around us. It leads to economic problems in third world countries, environmental troubles, causes debt, and clutters our lives. Here are a few changes you can make.

  • Buy more ingredients and less pre-packaged food.
  • Spend money on experiences.
  • Get items fixed instead of replacing them.
  • Donate things or repurpose them instead of throwing them away.
  • Purchase items with the least amount of packaging.
  • Buy things from companies that practice fair trade and have environmentally friendly policies.

7. Reach Out to a Lonely Neighbor or Family Member

Do you have a neighbor who lives alone, and rarely gets visitors? What about a family member who rarely sees their children? Pick up the phone. Invite them to lunch. Bring them lunch if they cannot or will not go out. Drop off a book that you think they might like. Watch television with them. Your presence could make a huge difference in the quality of their life.

Everybody has the potential to make the world a better place. Start doing social good today. It’s truly what the world needs right now.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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