People look for different things in a career; some people want progression and financial rewards, whereas other people search for job roles that offer flexible working hours or remote work opportunities. Whatever you want from a career, it's important that you get satisfaction from your job and enjoy your working life. Many people agree that doing a career that helps others in some way, is a reliable way to get satisfaction from your career. Below are some of the key benefits of helping others, along with ideas of careers where you can help others.
Benefits of a career helping others
Many studies have found that helping others can be beneficial to both your physical and mental health. This is because the act of helping someone releases endorphins in your brain which creates feelings of happiness and effectively boosts your mood, all while reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. This is known as 'Helpers High'; a euphoria that happens when you do charitable deeds or selfless acts of kindness. Helping others is also an effective way to create a sense of purpose, improve your outlook on life, and become more grateful for the things you have. Studies have found that people who help others as part of their career or volunteer work, are less likely to suffer from mental health conditions such as depression, low self-esteem and anxiety disorders.
Helping others and doing good deeds can also have a significant effect on your long term physical health, as it has been shown to effectively reduce negative emotions such as stress and anxiety. This has been linked to a number of physical health benefits such as lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Research has even found that helping others can increase your lifespan. According to projecthelpinghands.org, "…helping others on a regular basis can reduce early mortality rates by 22%, compared to mortality rates of people who don't participate in altruistic activities."
Careers where you can help others
Many people automatically think of the charity sector when considering careers that help others. However, there are in fact many different career choices that allow you to help others in some way. To give you some inspiration, here are some rewarding careers that help others:
Nurses help others in a significant way. They are highly trained healthcare professionals who are responsible for treating a wide range of different illnesses and injuries. Nurses often spend a lot of time with their patients and have the unique opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level and develop close relationships. Many nurses report getting a great sense of satisfaction from helping people in their time of need, watching them make a full recovery, and playing a key role in their return to optimal health. The role of a nurse is extremely diverse and qualified nurses can choose to work in a variety of specialisms and settings. For instance, some nurses choose to attend midwifery school to become qualified midwives and support pregnant women and their babies through each stage of antenatal care.
Carers make a huge impact on the lives of others by providing valuable support which allows people to remain living independently in their homes. The role of a carer is diverse and usually involves supporting with a range of daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, accompanying patients on appointments, running errands and administering medication. Carers also often provide a great source of comfort and companionship and build close bonds with the person they are caring for. Most carers get a great sense of satisfaction and joy from knowing that they're making a really positive difference to someone's life. Becoming a professional carer can offer a highly rewarding and satisfying career for anyone with a naturally compassionate personality.
Police officers help protect people by taking an active role in fighting crime and creating safer communities. They have the unique opportunity to save lives everyday and act as role models to help encourage people to make better life decisions and lead lawful lives.
The role of a police officer can be exciting and diverse, with no two days being the same. Some key responsibilities may include; responding to emergency calls, administering first aid to victims of crime, interviewing suspects, organizing investigations and giving expert testimony in court cases. To become a police officer you must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED plus completion of the law enforcement entrance exam. Some police organizations also require or prefer applicants to have a bachelor's degree, so obtaining this is a great way to stand out from the competition and improve your career prospects.
Teachers play an extremely important role in shaping the lives of the next generation. They are responsible for passing on their specialist skills and knowledge and educating the next generation of learners. A teacher should act as a positive role model and encourage students to achieve their best and develop the skills needed to be successful in later life. Teachers have a huge impact on their students and many people consider teaching to be a highly rewarding and fulfilling career choice for many people. Teachers also have the opportunity to work within a wide range of educational settings and teach a subject they're passionate about. To become qualified, teachers usually have to complete a bachelor's degree followed by a specialist teacher preparation program. If you're interested in this rewarding career path, you can find plenty of advice and guidance on the different routes to becoming a teacher.
Dieticians help people lead healthier lives by providing specialist advice on nutrition and healthy eating habits. They work within a wide range of settings and many large institutions such as care homes, hospitals and schools, rely on dieticians to develop meal plans that provide high nutritional value for people with a variety of different needs. Dieticians also get to apply the skills and knowledge they acquire on themselves and benefit personally from improved health.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."