Ranjana TN

Building self-love by helping others

One of the best ways to get into a good-feeling place is to help others. This really is the magic bullet and I’ve seen it work time and again both when I’ve helped others or been helped by others. If you want to love yourself deeply, help others. There’s something deep inside us that wants to matter to others. In its own strange way, it lends meaning to what we do. It helps us see ourselves in a better light. All this may sound so cliched and even common sense, but we seldom consciously use this to put ourselves in a good-feeling place. If we do end up helping others, it’s more of an accident than a conscious choice.

Why does helping others put you in a good place?

  1. You see yourself in a better light. Irrespective of what else is going on in your life, knowing that you did someone a good turn will help you feel better about yourself. It shines a light on the good stuff in you which is quite a contrast from what people usually do – criticize themselves.
  2. Pulls you out of thinking small, negative, and petty thoughts. You can also say that it ‘raises your vibration’. Even if you are in a funk, helping others sparks positive thoughts in your mind.
  3. You defocus on yourself by focusing on others. This does a few things. It no longer becomes about you so you stop being the centre of your universe; even if it’s for a short while. When you’re not actively focusing on your own life, it creates that ‘white space’ that allows better solutions and thoughts to present themselves.
  4. It opens up your heart. I’m sure you’ve felt this happen. When you help someone, you feel a sense of caring, kindness, generosity, love, empathy, and appreciation. These feelings open up your heart and make you feel alive.

When you start helping others consciously, you will find that it helps lift the veil of negativity from your own mind. If you’re already in a good-feeling place, it helps you stay there steadfastly and deepens your love for yourself. Making helping others a part of your everyday life is one sure-shot way of putting yourself in a good place on an everyday basis.

Share something others might find useful

For me, one of the best ways of helping others is sharing something that I find useful or helped me in some way. It could be something as small as a book I read or a personal story that I feel might uplift others. I prefer to do this in a many-to-one fashion because then it has the potential to create wider ripples and touch a greater number of people. That’s the #1 reason I like sharing my thoughts on my blog.


Listening is one of the best ways of helping others. It makes them feel heard and lightens their burden. Even if you are listening to their banter about how their week went, listening helps people feel connected and understood. Human beings are social creatures and crave that. Just lending a person a patient ear can help them in ways you can’t predict.

Send loving energy towards someone else

Now, this one may sound woo-woo, but it works like a charm (that was an accidental pun). Whenever you feel that someone is distressed or could use some positive loving energy, send it their way. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine that you’re sending them love, joy, compassion, and strength. You can do this to people who aren’t in dire straits too. I like sending loving energy towards friends and sometimes even to people that I’m not in touch with or toral strangers. Sometimes I send it to deceased people such as my paternal grandfather or to the entire planet (given the Coronavirus pandemic is widespread at this point). Whenever I do this, something inside me shifts and I feel in a better state of mind and heart.

Help with your skills wherever possible

Whenever feasible, help others with your skills. For eg., at home, I like helping my grandparents with any physical work around the house. I like helping friends with writing or sales-related work because those are my areas of expertise. As soon as you find that you’re useful to others, you automatically feel good about yourself. And if you think that there’s no skill you possess that can assist someone else, just look at the next stranger you meet on the street and smile. You are sure to light up someone’s day.

Help monetarily

Even if it’s in a small way, help causes you care for monetarily. For eg., I care about veganism and animal welfare and have donated to rescue centres. I recently donated money to an NGO that distributes essential items to the poor affected by Covid-19. There’s something tangible about offering monetary help that makes it extra satisfying.

It’s not difficult to make helping others something you do every day. The opportunities are dime a dozen and present themselves to you everywhere you go. Weave the thread of doing something for someone else into your life and you’ll watch it magically transform your life. As a quote goes:

“Nothing exalts the soul or gives it a sheer sense of buoyancy and victory so much as being used to change the lives of other people.”

– E. Stanley Jones