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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Turning Thoughts and Prayers into Action: Five Practical Ways to Make a Difference


“Thoughts and Prayers 🙏♥️” was the instinctual comment I’ve left in response to many social media updates about scary health issues, grieving journeys, and other sad situations. Although the words came from my heart, I felt cheap because my gesture lacked substance. What was I really doing other than leaving a comment?


Like pennies in a tip jar in 2023


Talk can be cheap when not backed up with actions. Although we care about the people to whom we send “thoughts and prayers”, there is more we can do to walk the talk. 


Turn “Thoughts and Prayers” into action by donating time or money to a cause related to them

It could be donating in someone’s honor or memory, as well as volunteering time to help at an organization. For example, you might have a dear friend living out of state who is navigating a health issue. A small contribution of time or money to their favorite non-profit could be a thought in action.


Turn “Thoughts and Prayers” into action by saying faith-based prayers


Different faiths have their own prayers and processes to acknowledge someone in need of healing. Most places of worship have opportunities to dedicate a service or announce someone’s name for healing. Most prayers for healing can be found online, so you could say a prayer according to their faith.


Turn “Thoughts and Prayers” into action by learning more about what they are going through


You will never totally walk in their shoes, but showing a little interest in the situation goes a long way. If they are willing to talk about it, ask questions, do research to educate yourself, and talk to other people who have been through it. They need empathy and compassion, so start with knowledge.


Turn “Thoughts and Prayers” into action by actually doing something to show you are thinking about them


Show support beyond the comment by sending flowers, notes of encouragement, food, and other thoughtful stuff they love. Additionally, helping them with chores, errands, and other responsibilities are ways to show thoughts. Not only are you brightening up their day, but making their lives easier.


Turn “Thoughts and Prayers” into action by literally stopping, dropping, and praying for them


After you leave your 🙏 when someone is reaching out to their community, be the prayer warrior they need and put down your device and pray. Whether it’s praying your way or theirs, do it if you say you are going to do it.


How about you?


How can you follow up “thoughts and prayers” with action?

Hi Beautiful Readers and thank you for reading this! I'm Dr. Joanne Broder, Media Psychologist, Author, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Please consider me to help you write your memoir, blogs, speeches, e-books, as well as coach you on your dissertation or thesis.  Click here so we can connect!

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