7 Reasons Why Helping Others Can Make You Healthier And Happier

Flickr / Zaskoda
Flickr / Zaskoda

At some point in our lives we all realize that there’s much more than the materialism, what society thinks, money, simple pleasures, and instant gratification. That’s when we start thinking about contributing, giving instead of taking, helping others, leaving something behind, and going beyond our egoistic basic instincts.
That’s a turning point in a man’s life. Of course, most people won’t really take any action and do anything to help others. Some might do it a few times, not see the true meaning in it, and go back to their daily life and goals.

But it’s time to see what helping others can really do to you and how it’s a life-changing activity. It’s important to do it with the right mindset and intention, which involves expecting nothing in return.

There are more benefits to contributing and doing good deeds than most of us think. And they are even backed by science. Doing good makes you happier, together with making other people’s lives easier or better in some way. What’s more, it boosts your overall health. Surprising, I know. But here’s what studies say about these two phenomena:

1. Random acts of kindness give you purpose and thus increase your level of happiness.

This resource aims to get to the bottom of what happiness really means for the individual, how it’s pursued, and in what ways we can find the meaning we’re truly seeking. The study suggests that doing good deeds and acts of kindness makes you happier than most other things we consider mood-boosters.

2. Giving makes you confident.

You won’t feel the benefits of helping others until you give it a try and really mean it. But one of the advantages you get, which shouldn’t be your main motivator, is higher self-confidence and feeling good about yourself. Which itself serves as a reason to smile, keep going in the right direction, and be content with your life and who you’re becoming.

3. Helping doesn’t just feel good; it’s good for your brain and body, too.

According to a study, those who give more are 42% more likely to call themselves happy and 25% more assured that they are healthy.

That’s because doing good gives signals to your brain which trigger a positive response, and that goes to every cell of your body. So you really are becoming healthier and happier.

4. You become part of a community.

There are a few crucial factors for both longevity and happiness. Together with good health, active lifestyle, purposeful job, and positive environment, there’s also the need every person has to be part of a community, or at least to feel like he is.
We’re here to form relationships, after all, but these need to be deep and meaningful.

In today’s world, however, most of our communication is through social media. We have many people in our circle that we can’t call friends. And there are toxic people in our surroundings, too. That’s definitely a negative factor when talking about being satisfied with our life.

But when you start helping others, it feels so right and so pure that you connect with yourself and with those you’re giving to on a level you never knew existed. By giving to them, you’re giving even more to yourself. Here are three studies stating that.

That lets you see life from a different angle. One where you’re living more consciously, being more appreciative, and realizing that things are perfect just the way they are.

5. Volunteer to manage your stress levels.

Here’s a solid 2013 study showing the countless benefits of contributing and doing good and, in particular, volunteering. In fact, 78% of those who volunteered in the year before state they were less stressed and better at managing their stress levels in general.

6. Helping others has a physical effect, too.

A study from Carnegie Mellon University linked it to lower blood pressure. And numerous researchers have proved the beneficial effects that doing good without expecting anything in return has on the body.

7. Giving is better for the brain than receiving.

Science also says that the rewards of giving, in terms of how we subsequently feel about ourselves, are much greater than anything we’ve ever received before.

When giving any type of support, even words of encouragement to cheer someone up, the activity benefits you on a neurobiological level, meaning other areas of the brain are activated when you help someone else and do a good deed, which leaves you with a sense of happiness and fulfillment. So helping others really is a situation where both parties win in the end. How inspiring is that?

Now that you’ve got evidence backed by science, do some quick research on what good cause you can support in your area. Also, jot down some ideas on how you can be kind to others, help friends and family, and even do good to strangers.

It can be anything, really, from giving advice to those who are in doubt, to giving directions to people on the streets. Smile to everyone in the office, be polite to everyone you speak to. Surprise loved ones when they least expect it. And say “I love you”’ more often.

Eventually, helping others will be a way of living and thinking. You’ll do it effortlessly and daily. And the benefits will be obvious to anyone around you. You’ll be glowing, internally and externally. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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