A social taboo in Western society is asking for help. Many of us suffer silently because we don’t know how to ask for help and don’t have the courage to do it. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness and could be the difference between life and death. It’s important to get over the fear of asking for help so that we can gain the support we need to thrive and feel supported in our lives.
In this article, we will discuss why we don’t ask for help, how we can get over this fear, and how to know when we need help and cannot do it alone.
Why is asking for help taboo?
Unfortunately, society has long held the belief that asking for help means that we are failing. Americans have increasingly become more independent, living solitary lives that rely less and less on community. The dissolving of communities has led to an increase in mental health disorders and mood disorders, including depression, loneliness, anxiety, grief, and in severe cases, psychosis.
The stigma around mental health and psychology has resulted in unnecessary suffering. So, not only are we lonelier than ever, we feel like failures due to our loneliness, and then we feel too ashamed to receive help for our mental health disorders arising from loneliness. We must have the courage to be cycle breakers and demonstrate how asking for help is empowering not only for the person asking but for the person who is given the opportunity to serve.
What are the benefits of asking for help?
Asking for help increases our sense of community.
Humans have been social creatures since the beginning. We thrive in communities and feel safest when surrounded by our tribe. That is why the effects of isolation can be devastating. We are not socially and mentally wired to be alone for long periods of time, which directly contradicts the way Western society operates in modern times.
When we receive help, we have a chemical reaction in our bodies that makes us feel good! We receive oxytocin from giving and receiving kindness, which means that those who help us are also positively affected by the happy hormone, as well! Did you know that your career path can also induce these hormones? Those who are looking for senior aid are looking for compassionate caregivers. These caregivers tend to lead happier, more fulfilled lives because of the nature of their work. On the other hand, seniors who feel connected with their caregivers receive oxytocin as well. It’s a win-win!
We cannot do kindness alone, which means we rely on our communities to receive this flood of oxytocin that is only stimulated through connection. Make someone’s day, be brave, and ask for help!
Asking for help relieves stress.
When we receive help from others, we can finally accomplish tasks that have been weighing us down. You’d be surprised what a good dose of relief can do for you! You may feel safer in your environment. For example, if you ask for help cleaning your home after many weeks or months of being unable to do so, you will feel safer in your living environment, free from harmful bacteria that can build up in sinks, toilets, and showers, and feel better able to take care of yourself. Navigating your home without the chance of an incident will decrease as well. You may even feel more inclined to invite friends and family over to visit.
Asking for help increases productivity.
After you receive help with the tasks that are difficult for you, you can accomplish the tasks that you enjoy! For example, if you need help remembering to take certain medications, you can feel the positive effects of those medications and enjoy more of your life. You are less likely to fall ill or be incapacitated in unexpected ways when you take your medications on time. You will be able to do the things you enjoy and maybe even help someone else to return the favor!
Asking for help can ensure your loved one’s safety.
It’s vital to make sure the place where you’re staying is secure. This includes ensuring that all paths are unimpeded and clear, that all steps have handrails, and that any trip risks have been eliminated. Look for any possible dangers in the restrooms, such as slick bathtubs or surfaces. Make sure that all appliances, including stoves and freezers, are in excellent functioning order and are secure for use. Just as important, always keep at hand some medical monitoring devices, such as a medical alert system or a wristwatch that can detect falls. These devices can help you and everyone around you get the medical attention needed in an emergency.
Asking for help can give you peace of mind.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to communicate with kindness and patience. Recognizing people’s emotions and expressing sensitivity in return can be very helpful. Create a secure and welcoming atmosphere next. If you are dealing with elderly people, for example, they can feel more safe and at ease if they are given confidence and support. Working on soothing and concentration skills and encouraging your loved to do so as well. Deep breathing exercises or relaxing music can help to lower tension and worry for a short while. People may have medical or mental health issues, so be conscious of them and seek for methods to manage them. You can promote interior calm and tranquility for both yourself and the elderly people in your life by adhering to these suggestions. It’s also advisable to provide emergency contact information in case the elderly person ever needs help one never knows what can happen in the blink of an eye.
Asking for help is a sign of being human. Our bodies are wired to give and receive help by releasing rewarding, happy hormones when we give and receive help! This innate human characteristic strengthens our sense of community and prolongs our survival. Your willingness to accept this very human part of yourself may help save someone else as they follow your example!