Make a donation

You can make a difference. When watching terrible situations like the war in Ukraine, we want to help. However, we are often overwhelmed by the options and end up doing something useless. Charities are drowning in used overcoats and donated toys that there is no way to get to Ukraine.

Unless you have personal contacts in a disaster area, donate money to an organization you already know, like your church or the International Red Cross. Money can be used for whatever is necessary, and the brave people on the ground know if the highest need is for food, medicine, shelter, or transportation.

Making a donation you know will be useful is the best way to fight your anxiety about the state of the world.

Help Someone

To help yourself, find someone else to help. Helping others is a deep human urge and has been with us since humans first banded together to help and protect each other. When you are able to help someone, the brain releases dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.

There are many ways to helping others. If nothing comes to mind for you, simply tell yourself that you are looking for someone to help. That primes your brain to look for opportunities to contribute. Even if the pandemic prevents us from meeting in person, you can answer questions online, or shovel snow for your neighbor, or do other physical tasks that don’t require proximity.

Two kids in the US decided to show their appreciation for their local medical professionals. They went to the parking lot of a local hospital after a recent snowstorm and cleaned the snow from people’s cars. There are lots of ways to help if you look for them.

Make a Contribution

Before Christmas, A US policeman was called to a shop to arrest af family that hadn’t scanned all their groceries. They told him they didn’t have enough money to make a Christmas dinner for their children. He let them off with a warning, and then used his own money to purchase them a gift card so they could buy what they needed for their Christmas dinner.

Take inspiration from this story, and improve your life in 2021 by helping someone. Feeling that we make a difference is the single factor that most positively affect our image of ourselves. The effect is strongest if we can directly see the difference we make. That’s why contributing time to a homeless shelter improves your life more than donating money to an abstract cause. Find your way to make a difference.