Attention seekers! Become attention givers

College students listening to one another
Photo: © Hemant Mehta / 123RF Stock Photo
General awareness, research and personal experience, all confirm that as human beings we love getting attention. But recent studies have shown that offering support and attention to others brings about even greater feelings of wellness and helps reduce our own stress.

Here’s what giving attention to others does to you:

Lets you feel you’re in charge

When you wait for someone to do things for you, clearly you are putting them in charge of your happiness. But when you decide to do something for someone, you gain the power to make a difference in his or her life. This sense of control can make you feel positive about yourself.

Instills a sense of autonomy

It’s not uncommon to find ourselves dissatisfied even when people do something for us. We like to make own choices and we have our own preferences; hence when we pay attention to the needs of others, we sense freedom in our choice to do something for someone else. It’s an accomplishing feeling.

Makes you feel self-confident

Adolescence is the period where we are beginning to formulate definitions of our own self. When we do something for others, we prove to ourselves that we are capable human beings. This makes us believe in our virtues and makes us self-reliant and more confident of our own abilities.

Enables you to feel connected

All actions generate equal and opposite reactions. When we make others feel special we unmistakably draw them towards ourselves and initiate committed friendships. Kindness goes full circle. When we are good to others we become bravehearts for our generosity and we feel connected with everyone around us.

Gives you a sense of happiness

Doing something for someone and making them feel nice sends signals to the happiness centre in the brain to secrete dopamine (the body’s reward chemical), giving us a high like we experience when we win a race or stand first in a competitive exam or are encountered with a pleasant surprise.

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Dr Shefali Batra
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Dr Shefali Batra

Dr Shefali Batra, Psychiatrist and Cognitive Therapist, is the Founder of Mindframes and Co-founder of InnerHour. She is available at