The Helper’s High
When people help others, it makes them feel good. We get what researchers call a “helpers high,” or a profound sense of well-being and optimism associated with helping.
And the impact goes further than just the emotional. A growing body of evidence is proving that it can help the physical as well.
Get this: The Corporation for National Service, using health and volunteering data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control, found that states with a high volunteer rate also had lower rates of heart disease.1
Another study, this one published in the Journal of Health Psychology, looked at over 2,000 adults. Researchers found that after adjusting for differences in socioeconomic status, prior health status, smoking, social support and physical activity, volunteerism decreased death rates by over 44 percent.
Pretty neat, huh?
It’s Good to be Good
Anger and negative emotions are bad for the body, so it makes sense that the opposite would hold true. One of the healthiest things you can do is to step back from self-preoccupation and self-worry. And there’s no easier way to do this than by focusing your attention on helping others.
This transformation seems to promote emotional and physical well-being and, odds are, will add years to your life.
So how can you jump on the giving bandwagon? Here are some random acts of kindness you can carry out:
- Leave a bouquet of flowers on a neighbor’s doorstep.
- Have your kids write a thank you card to drop off at your local police or fire station.
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway. (It’s good exercise!)
- Put a lottery ticket underneath someone’s windshield wiper.
- Leave a note for a coworker that reads, “Have a nice day!”
- Open the phone book, pick a name, and send a “Be happy!” card anonymously.
- Organize a charity day at work and encourage employees to bring nonperishable food items to donate.
- Hold an umbrella for shoppers on the way to their cars on a rainy day.
- Pay a compliment to a stranger on the street.
- After you’re done reading a newspaper, offer it to someone else. It’s good for the environment as well.
- Volunteer to read to children at a local hospital.
- Stop by a nursing home, and ask the staff which resident hasn’t gotten a visit in awhile. Spend some time with him or her.
- Roll a neighbor’s garbage cans up to his house after the trash has been picked up.
- Give another driver your parking spot in a crowded lot.
- Let someone go in front of you on line at the food store – even if she has more groceries than you.
- Leave coupons you’re not using tucked under the product at the grocery store.
Do you have any ideas for random acts of kindness? Share them here
I received the above by email this eve. As best as I can cut and past here is the most part of it.
cheers to all.