In life, it’s often the little things that matter and that end up making the most difference. I am a big drinker of Zevia soda (this isn’t a promo for them, but in brief, I turned to it from Diet Coke years ago because I no longer wanted to consume aspartame and caffeine, and theirs is an all natural cola. It’s the only soda I drink.)
Whenever you purchase 6-packs of soda no matter the brand, they come with plastic rings that hold the pack together. I remember someone telling me years ago how important it is to break up these rings by cutting all of the loops. The reason being is because birds in landfills get caught in them, and it can be tragic. Same thing if these end up in the water or in other places where wildlife can come into contact with them. So, I have a little box next to my soda stash and when I have a few built up, I cut the rings before disposing.
This is an example of how you can practice the Distress Tolerance skill of Contributing. We often think we need to do something massive or grand in order to be practicing this skill, but it can really be something simple, like helping someone with their groceries, opening the door, helping with a chore or task, or cutting up 6-pack rings, which most likely saves the life of a bird, and that’s pretty big! 🙂
Contributing works to help us tolerate our emotional distress because it’s something we can do and have control over, even if we have other problems over which we have no control in the moment. It is a way to skillfully distract ourselves. And, in helping others, we get two positives: witnessing their joy as well as ours as a result of seeing that we’ve made a difference. All off this can elevate our mood and help us to get through rough times.
Often the urge or impulse is to retreat and hide when we’re feeling badly. What if we, instead, found a way to be of service to others? Imagine the potential benefits.
What are some ways you can contribute to improve your mood and a moment in someone else’s life?
I look forward to your ideas.
Thanks for reading.