You may know the expression, “It is better to give than receive,” but do you know that the benefits of this truism have been proven by research? People who are kind and compassionate recognize the benefits to their lives. Kindness can also help reduce stress and improve our emotional wellbeing.
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.Dalai Lama
We all have so much going on in our everyday lives, not to mention the current coronavirus pandemic. This can cause kindness to be overlooked. An easy way to show kindness is through social media. Harder, but more meaningful perhaps are the kindnesses we we show in our daily words and actions.
Here are some additional benefits from helping others:
- Helping others feels good: There is some evidence to suggest that when you help others, it can promote physiological changes in the brain linked with happiness.
- It creates a sense of belonging: Helping others can help us to make new friends and connect with our community. Face-to-face activities such as volunteering at a food bank can also help reduce loneliness and isolation.
- It gives you a sense of purpose: Studies show that volunteering enhances an individual’s overall sense of purpose and identity. This is because helping others can make you feel rewarded, fulfilled and empowered.
- Giving helps keep things in perspective: Helping others, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, can help to put things into perspective and make you feel more positive about your own circumstances.
- It’s contagious: One study found that people are more likely to perform feats of generosity after observing another do the same. This effect can ripple throughout the community, inspiring dozens of individuals to make a difference.
- Helping others can help you live longer: Regular volunteering can improve your ability to manage stress and stave off disease as well as increasing your sense of life satisfaction. This might be because volunteering alleviates loneliness and enhances our social lives.
- It will give you a sense of renewal: Helping others can teach you to help yourself. If you’ve been through a tough experience or just have a case of the blues, helping others is a great way get back to feeling like yourself.
- You’ll boost your self-esteem: People who volunteer have been found to have higher self-esteem and overall wellbeing. The benefits of volunteering also depend on your consistency. So, the more regularly you volunteer, the more confidence you’ll gain.
- You’ll create stronger friendships: When you help others, you give off positive vibes, which can rub off on peers and improve your friendships. Being a force for good in a friend’s life can help build a lasting bond.
- You become a “glass half-full” type person: Having a positive impact on someone else could help you change your own outlook and attitude. Experts say that performing acts of kindness boosts your mood and ultimately makes you more optimistic and positive.
Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.Arnold Schwarzenegger
The truth is, if we take the time to be kind and help other people, we can reap the emotional benefits. It can really make a difference, especially for people who are vulnerable or struggling. Now is the time to re-imagine a kinder society that better protects our mental health.