CAN HELPING OTHERS REALLY BOOST SEROTONIN?
I met Natasha more than 6 years ago through a mutual friend. She actually goes by ‘Tash,’ but because she introduced herself as Natasha to me I am just so used to calling her Natasha. We bonded immediately, as we absolutely love to sing and dance.
She was so welcoming the first time we met, greeting me at the door with the warmest smile. It was karaoke night at her place. Since I didn’t know anyone there, aside from our friend Pierre who introduced us, she made sure I felt at home. I noticed later that she treats everyone the same and it’s so nice to witness her kindness towards others.
Over the years, I really got to know Natasha and there is one thing she absolutely loves to do and that is to make time to help others. If you are thinking of volunteering to make a difference in someone’s life, read on to get inspired.
Sara: You help collect donations, picking them up from various places, and you also drop off those donations to the shelters. Why do you do this and why is it important to raise awareness?
Natasha: Not only do I truly enjoy helping others, I am aware that a major first world problem is over-consumption (and consumerism), which leads to waste and pollution for our environment, and I know that most of my family and friends feel the same way. Why not take a bit of time to lend a hand, gather items, and drop them off to the direct sources in need? I have mixed feelings about making monetary donations to large charitable organizations because of their political and profitable tendencies. Having personally witnessed sincere gratefulness and appreciation, when I get to meet and see where donations go makes me feel like I've made a tiny contribution to our planet.
Sara: You help your friends all the time and, I know for one, I can always count on you. Why is this so natural for you?
Natasha: I recognize that there are some people in this world who deserve my time and I know that they would do the same for me. We all need an ear, a hand, and a shoulder to cry on sometimes.
Sara: I still remember the time I had to move stuff out of my lockers (yes I had a few at the time) and you were there with me, and then when I moved into my new place you were there unpacking and organizing with me. Where does this value come from?
Natasha: Similarly along the same lines as my answer above, I try my best to be there for my friends and family, especially in times of need. We can't always be there and solve every problem, but we can show our care, love, understanding, compassion, empathy, and support to the people we care about. I believe that these character traits stem from one's personality, upbringing, experience, gratitude, and earned respect.
Sara: Natasha never ceases to amaze me. She volunteers to help an elderly man with groceries. He lives on his own and her weekly visits ensure he is well stocked with fresh produce, not to mention the emotional support she provides by simply showing up.
Natasha: My extra two cents! It’s the importance of volunteering. My main motivator is injustice to our more fragile populations like the elderly, mentally ill, disabled and abused children, and animals. Even more in these trying times, there are always causes that can use a hand. I'd like to drive awareness to the act of volunteering.
There is a society, group, shelter, home, school, hospital, organization, and so on, in every single municipality, city, town, and village that is in need of volunteers. Depending on one's circumstance, ability, health, etc., why not take some time to help your community or personal conviction? Expand those acts of kindness and incorporate volunteering as part of your lifestyle like a hobby. Even children can learn this. It is very damaging to hear about injustice and people in need who get taken advantage of. You don't need money, you just need time. Let's redirect our energy and help others. You never know what you will learn, who you will meet, and the lessons, meaning, and purpose you will take away.
Let’s just say, when I first met Natasha I was just so busy formulating new makeup and I hardly made time to sleep, so volunteering was definitely not in the forefront of my mind.
Over the years, as I slowly learn more about what she does and, most importantly, see how happy she gets, I got even more interested and it made me realize I can always make time for anything if I really want to get involved. She is definitely an inspiration, always so selfless, and I am so fortunate to have her as my very good friend.
So, if you are wondering if helping others can really boost serotonin, you can check out the research on this article from Psychology Today!
Natasha’s favourite Amaterasu makeup products are:
- Silk Mascara
- Goddess Bronzer Makeup (which is a talc free bronzer, vegan bronzer, and loose mineral bronzer foundation too!)
- Liquid Eyeliner
Find Natasha on Instagram at @platinumoreo! She is also the co-owner of @blazingchefofficial (a collection of vegan Chinese XO sauce made with shiitake mushroom instead of dried scallops).