It’s ‘mental health awareness week’ so I’m sharing three of our previous blog posts (scroll down below) which outline how ‘Giving to help others’ can have a positive effect on how we feel about ourselves.
The essence of what I stumbled into is very similar to the “Do good feel good” phenomenon, which is namely:
Researchers have discovered that the more people do acts of altruism, the higher they raise their self-esteem and raise their happiness. As a result, this makes them want to continue to do more positive, loving habits… which then makes them feel even better about themselves – which makes them want to do even more acts of altruism. And onward the upward cycle goes !
How fantastic ! Registering to become a potential stem cell donor and then talking about it can have a life saving impact AND can also help make you feel better too.
It works for me.
Have a good week, every week !
Together, saving lives
I received these text messages earlier today. I was really looking forward to giving blood at 4pm and the first one I received was a helpful reminder for me to drink lots of water.
The second text message I received left me feeling a bit deflated and frankly, I surprised myself at quite how much receiving this second text affected me.
It reminded me of the blog post I wrote a while back: Have a chat about Margot & see how that makes you feel
I am hoping that you, like me, will feel good about and enjoy sharing & spreading the word, in the knowledge that your conversations and your word of mouth can have a positive & lasting social impact, with beneficial knock-on effects AND perhaps even life saving outcomes.
Because if you enjoy telling someone, one-on-one or one-to-many, in your own time and in your own way, then it’s quite likely that you will go on to repeat that action, again and again.
That’s what I find myself doing, anyway.
Because it could be YOU that makes the difference to someone in need, either directly (via your own unique donation) or indirectly (via someone that you encouraged to become a donor). We already know that Team Margot’s (YOUR) efforts mean that statistically, more than 500 people WILL now have a chance at a life saving bone marrow transplant.
Either way, by talking about and sharing, we are making a positive difference for people with blood cancer.
Plus it can make you feel better about yourself.
Recently, I shared this thought process with an eminent psychiatrist, who confirms that within reason, caring about and doing things for others in your community is good for your mental health and well being.
Which is why, having lost the ability to give blood today and with it the ability for me to feel the personal follow on benefits & upside, I decided to write a blog post.
Thank you, Margot. x
Together, saving lives
I often wonder how Margot’s donor feels about his experience of donating bone marrow.
I’m curious. And not just about the specifics relating to the harvest of his bone marrow, but also the back story: of initially joining the register and his reasons for doing so, the subsequent contact from the registry to tell him that he was a match and his progression on to confirmatory typing, work up and medical.
I also ponder the practicalities and the accompanied feelings & emotions that must be triggered during the process and how they might crescendo and diminish as donation day nears, arrives and then passes.
In spite of never having met him and knowing very little about Margot’s donor, I nevertheless know how I feel about this selfless & benevolent gentleman.
Hopefully, that goes some way to explain why I would love to donate my stem cells or bone marrow.
Unfortunately, Anthony Nolan tells us that on average, there’s only a 1 in 1,200 chance of being matched with a patient in need, so in that sense, being matched is unlikely to happen, but if it does it’ll probably feel like winning the lottery !
We can all live in hope.
In the meantime, I make do with the quiet glow of self-satisfaction that comes from being a registered organ donor and from my regular blood donations.
The point is that not everyone is eligible to donate, so we can’t ALL get to experience that emotion, however we CAN all still feel good about ourselves for doing our bit.
Ultimately, one of our goals is for people to feel good about and enjoy sharing & spreading the word, in the knowledge that their conversations and their word of mouth will have a positive & lasting social impact, with beneficial knock-on effects AND perhaps even life saving outcomes.
Because if people enjoy telling someone, one-on-one or in groups, in their own time and in their own way, then they will go on to repeat that action, again and again.
It can happen ! And it could be YOU that makes all the difference.
So the next time a new opportunity arises or there’s a lull in conversation, have a chat about Margot & see how that makes you feel.
Together, saving lives
In an interview on Sky News this morning, the Prime Minister, Theresa May outlined her plans to tackle the issues around mental health & how we might get over it’s associated stigma, not least because 1 in 4 people will suffer from some mental health issue through their lives.
The Prime Minister explains that it takes time to successfully deal with such an issue & whilst there’s additional funding being made available to provide services for people with mental health issues, she also stated that it’s wrong to assume that the only answer to the problem is funding.
During the summer last year, I posted a blog entitled “Team Margot is good for your mental health and well being”. I linked that post to a previous one dating back to September 2015: “Have a chat about Margot and see how that makes you feel”.
Initially, I was writing based upon my own instinct and gift of experience. More recently, I shared my thinking with an eminent psychiatrist, who confirms that within reason, caring about and doing things for others in your community is good for your mental health and well being.
On that basis, it follows that you can improve your mental health and well being by registering to become a potential stem cell donor, regularly donating blood or platelets and by joining the organ donor register.
It’s a cost in terms of your commitment (and that’s what counts!), but it needn’t cost you any money.
So if you haven’t already, here’s how you can take those first steps towards improving your own mental health, let alone helping to save someone’s life:
Register as a potential stem cell / bone marrow donor
Together, saving lives
Husband to Vicki and father to Oscar (2007), Rufus (2008), Digby (2015), Humphrey (2017) & Margot (2012-2014)
Team Margot’s mission
To help save and improve lives by educating, inspiring and motivating people, especially from ethnically diverse communities, to register as blood, organ, stem cell and bone marrow donors and to provide a range of support to families caring for child cancer patients.
Team Margot also provides secretariat support to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethnicity Transplantation and Transfusion.