It's official. Something I always new in my bones, that getting things out in the open, doing something, is much better than bottling things up inside. Now, in a new study, psychologists at the University of Sussex found that people who get involved in campaigns, strikes and political demonstrations experience an improvement in psychological well-being that can help them overcome stress, pain, anxiety and depression. I am not one for participating in protest movements myself, but perhaps the important thing is that in your work, in your family life or wherever, you actually feel you have some measure of control, of influence, that you matter. Be that as it may I will always remember the scene in Eastwood's 'Black Hunter, White Heart' where the Houston/Eastwood character takes a severe beating from a younger, fitter white African racist: 'sometimes' says Eastwood, 'you just wouldn't feel right inside if you didn't do something'. Perhaps recent science would tell us that this is something to do with reducing cortisol and raising serotinin and HDL cholesterol but its nice to know sometimes that the things you feel to be good actually are. Could this be just one more plus for low-cost, preventive, alternative medicine.
"The take-home message from this research therefore might be that people should get more involved in campaigns, struggles and social movements, not only in the wider interest of social change but also for their own personal good."
The results emerged from in-depth interviews with nearly 40 activists from a variety of backgrounds. Between them, they had more than 160 experiences of collective action involving groups of demonstrators protesting against a range of issues. These included fox-hunting, environmental damage and industrial matters. Volunteers were asked to describe what it was about taking part in such collective action that made them feel so good. "Many published activist accounts refer to feelings of encouragement and confidence emerging from experiences of collective action," said Drury. "But it is not always clear how and why such empowerment occurs, so we aimed to explain what factors within a collective action event contribute to such feelings."
Source: Yahoo News