Helping others is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. It’s also a great way to build your self-confidence and develop important social skills. When we help people in need, it reminds us that there are good people in this world, which helps us become more optimistic about our future.
And lastly, helping others makes us feel like we’re making a difference – something that all humans should feel!
The Science of helping others
There are a number of different ways in which helping others can be beneficial. For example, helping others can make us feel good about ourselves and increase our sense of self-worth. It can also make us happier and more satisfied with our lives, and increase our feelings of connectedness to other people.
Helping others can also be good for our physical health. It has been shown to reduce stress levels, improve immune function, and even extend lifespan.
Finally, helping others can also be good for our mental health, by increasing feelings of optimism and hope, reducing feelings of depression and anxiety, and increasing the availability of brain chemicals that help reduce pain and stress.
In addition to these benefits, there is emerging evidence that suggests helping others can even make our immune systems function more effectively. Research has shown that people who volunteer their time to help others (e.g., visiting people in hospitals or offering support for those with disabilities) have a more robust immune response to vaccination.
While the evidence for these effects is not conclusive, it does suggest that helping others can be good for both our mental and physical health.
Helping others can actually lead you to live longer
Researchers have shown volunteers show an improved ability to manage stress, stave off disease and reduce rates of depression when they were performed on a regular basis; this might be because volunteering relieves loneliness or enhances our social lives which are factors involved in increasing sense satisfaction with life span- extension.
Volunteering makes you happier
One team of sociologists tracked 2000 people over a five-year period and found that those who described themselves as “very happy” volunteered at least 5.8 hours per month!
This heightened sense of well being might be because giving back makes us more physically active or gives you an emotional boost by providing neurochemical rewards–it’s hard to say exactly how but it seems like there are so many reasons why this behavior is beneficial for your mental health in some way
Volunteers who take part in an organization with a lot of social interaction, like teaching or nursing, have been shown to be healthier than those who don’t.
This is because volunteering requires you to put yourself out there and interact with other people which helps lower stress levels and boosts the immune system.
It also makes it easier for volunteers to manage chronic diseases like cancer by giving them something positive they can focus on instead of their illness.
The best way for someone who wants to get involved but might not have any experience is to start off by doing something small like tutoring at school or coaching sports teams during recreation time-anything where you’ll be around others but won’t feel too uncomfortable being vulnerable because the goal isn’t to help everyone around you, just a few people.
If it goes well, then maybe you can do something bigger like volunteering at an animal shelter or becoming a mentor for a student after school where you’ll have more time with that one person and be able to really see the difference your efforts make.
Goodwill is contagious
When one person performs a good deed, it causes an incredible chain reaction of other altruistic acts.
One study found that people are more likely to perform feats from generosity after observing another do the same-and this effect can ripple throughout communities inspiring dozens at once who want to make their communities better places for everyone.
A recent study even found that when someone breaks a random person’s trust, other people pay them back with their own ill-gotten gains.
But if the same people who were betrayed see someone perform an altruistic act for another stranger, they repay them with the generosity of their own! The researchers aptly deemed it “the pay-it-forward chain reaction”.
There is also evidence that we can actually help ourselves by helping others. For example, one study performed by the National Institute of Health and conducted over three years found that older adults who volunteered to tutor young students achieved higher levels of physical endurance than those not involved in tutoring.
Similarly, elderly health care workers engaged in patient care showed significantly lower pressure readings compared to those who don’t work in a clinical setting.
There is also evidence that helping others may increase our chances of reaching old age, as one study found that older adults who volunteered an average of 50 hours per month had less risk of dying over the next four years than their non-volunteering peers.
Now, there are many studies about altruism-many more than I have room to include in this article-but they all seem to agree on one thing: Altruism makes lives better for everyone involved!
So if you’re looking for ways to give back this holiday season, go out and find someone who could use your help! There are plenty of people in your life.
Helping others make you happier
Being there for people can make you happy. It is a fact and has been proven that people who go out of their way to help others are more likely to be happy than those who do not. There is even a lot of scientific evidence that makes the claim true.
By helping others, you have a sense of purpose. You may even see yourself smiling briskly after realizing you have made some meaningful contribution to people’s lives. It also connects us and helps us get meaningful and beneficial relationships.
Being happy is not that hard. You just need to make a difference and watch as you glow even in unlikely places.
Helping others can help to numb your pains
This may look weird and unbelievable, but there is a conviction among few that helping people can reduce chronic pains. There is even a study that depicts that social support was a significant predictor of lower levels of pain in people with chronic pain.
While you may want to counter that, maybe you should first take a close look at our theory first. First, being occupied with things tend to take our minds off something even if it is only for during the spell. It is the same when you are helping someone because at that moment, you are being distracted from your own pains.
Secondly, by providing help and support to people, you are doing more good to your mental health and well-being. You feel fulfilled and even happy with yourself.
Finally, the people you help with whatever you can will feel less depressed and make them believe that there could still be a greater light at the end of the tunnel.
Helping others lower blood pressure
This is not something you will easily agree to unless you are totally convinced. It is actually true that helping others can reduce your blood pressure. Studies have confirmed that and so are testimonies from people.
It was found that when you help or make yourself available for others, blood pressure is reduced to at least 5 points. This is huge and it is even more noticeable with people dealing with high blood pressure.
When next you are dealing with such health challenge, you could try volunteering willingly. Aside from health benefits, you will also be making new friends and possibly learning new things.
Fosters good behaviors in teens
Yes, scientific studies have shown that teens who volunteer or do community service report feeling happier and more fulfilled than their peers who don’t participate in these activities.
One study found that after just one week of volunteering, high school students reported greater satisfaction with their lives and a stronger sense of social connection.
These findings are not surprising considering the benefits associated with helping others include increased self-esteem and self-confidence, better problem-solving skills, increased creativity/problem finding abilities as well as improved academic performance (see this article for more information).
Breeds a sense of purpose and satisfaction
Do you not feel a rush of dopamine (the “pleasure hormone”) and serotonin (the “happy hormone”) when you help or do something commendable? If Yes, then you have every reason to continue an act that makes you feel so good about yourself.
Second, you will add more meaning to your life when you do good deeds. That sense of purpose, satisfaction and possibly a distraction you could use especially when you have your own issue you are trying to manage. There is no better way to make yourself feel alive knowing that you are part of something bigger.
There are ways to make it happen. Look around your neighborhood, there should be something you can do for a particular person or even group. There are a lot of charities you can do for the community, such as helping out during a pandemic, giving out cash gifts to a displaced person, installation of street lights, and many more.