Everyone knows that giving back, whether it’s monetarily or with your time or possessions, is a satisfying feeling. You feel like you’ve made a difference for someone that really might need the help. But did you know that giving back or doing charity work can not only affect the mind but the body as well? If you needed even more of an incentive, keep reading to find out how giving back can be good for your health.
The Helper’s High
If you need a quick burst of good feelings, you would be surprised at how quickly you can receive one after donating your time to help other people. Giving back triggers our brains to release more dopamine so that we feel encouraged to do it again. This rush of dopamine is often known as the “helper’s high.” It can be a great way to get those all-important feel-good chemicals into your body.
Reduce Depressive Symptoms
These same feel-good chemicals do wonders to help combat the symptoms of depression as well. Lethargy, apathy, and sadness can all lessen when you give back to someone else. Even doing something simple like bagging up clothes for the Purple Heart Pickup Association can give you a renewed sense of purpose, something that many people lose in the throes of depression.
Create Social Bonds
No matter how introverted you are, humans are still social creatures and need at least some interaction with other people to feel healthy. Giving back is a fantastic way to meet new people with similar interests and possibly meet those you are actually helping as well. These social connections also give a sense of meaning to the work you do, which can improve your self-esteem.
Increase Heart Health
Altruism is known to have significant effects on certain heart problems like high blood pressure. By giving back your time and energy, you can actually lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attacks. Given that this is one of the biggest health problems for people today, it pays off to give back when you can.
These are just some of the ways that giving back is good for your health. We all need a little help sometimes, and providing that help can be beneficial for both sides of the equation. Whether your gesture is big or small, you and the recipient will both get to feel better.