HARVESTING FOR OUR HAPPINESS AND HEALTH


Is the air feeling a little sharper as it enters your lungs these days? Is that a hint of pumpkin spice in the atmosphere? The tail end of the summer has arrived, and another seasonal shift is upon us. Pre-industrial societies often used this time of the year to begin harvesting their goods and provisions, ensuring that they had enough to keep them satiated in the upcoming colder months. These days, not too many of us are farmers however, it’s still a good idea to take stock of our physical, mental, and emotional reserves so that we can stay healthy and happy as the cold approaches.

Photo of a forest with the color of the leaves changing.
Photo of a forest with the color of the leaves changing.

For many people, the lack of light can have a detrimental effect on our outlook and health, so it’s important to ensure that we have support systems and strategies in place. For some, this can be a physical exercise regime or scheduled visits to the doctor. Others may focus on the more intangible, yet equally vital, components of health. Our mental and emotional well-being can be nurtured through journaling, meditation, or therapy. The good news is that all domains of health are linked, so strength in one of them can be transferred to the others.

Photo of branches with green leaves and the sun shining through.
Photo of branches with green leaves and the sun shining through.

HELPING OTHERS IS A KEY TO HAPPINESS


Another key component in maintaining our overall happiness is the act of helping others, whether it’s simply being there for a friend in need, charitable donations, or volunteering for a group in the community. The notion of a “helper’s high” has been researched and documented to produce endorphins that increase our overall satisfaction. Life for Relief and Development USA has made this a crucial component of its mandate, with various projects to respond to the needs of our global society. As the number of people in need increases, so do our humanitarian endeavors, and the opportunities to help are varied to match up with people’s capacities. Having said that, it’s important to remember that the ability to help others always begins with taking care of ourselves.

Photo of one man helping another move.
Photo of one man helping another move.

Much like the people of agricultural societies in the past, they harvested for themselves first, and whatever they had in excess was shared with the rest of the community. So as the summer ends and the fall and winter approach, ask yourself: What do you have enough of? Where do you need a boost or assistance? Finally, what do you have left to share with the people around you? Happy harvesting!

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