10 Ways Helping Others Can Help You
The selfless act of volunteering and all the good it brings to others should be enough to motivate you, right?
And, maybe it does! But, when you can see the direct value to yourself, as well, it’s an incredibly big motivation! Don’t worry, the thought does count for something, but you can also gain a little bit from giving, too!
Here are ten ways helping others can help you.
When you’re able to see the direct impact your work has on others, it dramatically increases your productivity.
Whether it’s a community service project or your actual profession, putting a face to your efforts is a total morale boost.
If this model works for you, seek out opportunities where you can work directly with individuals, such as via a mentoring program, your public library or donation center.
Once you start, you can’t stop! Not only will you be inclined to give more of your time after just one session, but you’re more likely to tell others and encourage them to get in the spirit.
The New England Journal of Medicine noted a phenomenon where a single anonymous kidney donation spurred a subsequent ten kidney donations from the friends and families of recipients.
In particular, oxytocin, a good-feel chemical that encourages love and generosity. There’s another added benefit: oxytocin triggers the release of nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure.
Heart healthy, in more ways than one!
Oxytocin is also beneficial in reducing a number of free radicals present in the body, which can lead to advanced aging and cancer.
Who knew helping others could keep you young?
Studies of patients with chronic or persistent pain noted a reduction in their symptoms after charitable giving or volunteering. Talk about an all-natural painkiller!
In a study by BMC Public Health, participants who regularly volunteered lived 22% longer than their non-volunteering counterparts.
Imagine what you could do with all the books you could write with that extra time!
It’s called the “Paradox of Generosity” and it shows a high correlation between giving and individual happiness.
It includes both donations of time and money; regular givers reported lower levels of depression after having contributed around 6 hours of volunteering per month or donating 10% or more of their annual income.
According to a study conducted by the University of Buffalo, some individuals are pre-dispositioned to giving based on certain receptor genes.
If you have the so-called “nice” gene, it’s in your nature to give and be helpful. If not, you might have to work a bit harder at it, but helpfulness is a buildable strength, much like body muscle. In other words, compassion grows!
Particularly in kids and teens; encouraging your youngsters to get out and get helping can actually improve their grades, behaviors and attitudes.
Sounds like a win-win-win situation! If you’re feeling a bit low or down on yourself, get out there and donate your time for the good of others! You’ll be up and at ‘em in no time.
As we age, giving only gets sweeter; so say active, retiree helpers. Why not get the ball rolling now, for a lifelong feeling of gratitude and accomplishment?
Volunteering doesn’t have to be an entirely selfless act — you can feel good about the good you’re doing for yourself, as well as for others. Consider it a part of your “self- care” routine and encourage others around you to get involved, as well.
What are you doing to help your community and ultimately help yourself?