Doing Good for Others (how it can benefit your health)
From opening the door for an elderly person or donating some money to a local charity, it comes as no surprise that doing good deeds brings out positivity in the community. People tend to be happier, as well as grateful to their fellow peers, thus strengthening interpersonal relations among each other. Yet, while these acts of kindness are beneficial to others, it might be surprising to learn that such deeds can also be good for your own health. In this article, we have several reasons why giving that extra restaurant tip or that helping hand at your local library can benefit your well-being.
It makes you more open.
Perhaps you are naturally very shy and reserved, and have a hard time initiating relationships with others. However, making that effort to say “hello” to the new kid at school, or offering to buy donuts for the office helps you become more open and comfortable with people. Furthermore, it helps grow and develop interpersonal relations with your peers, thus making you less socially anxious in public situations.
It offers an optimistic outlook on life.
Performing good deeds for others not only makes you feel good about yourself, but also if people do the same to you, then the mutual exchange creates a more positive perspective on real-world interactions. You will feel good that you’re doing kind acts, as well as having faith in other people. Not all individuals are driven by selfish reasons; it will surprise you how so many can be generous in any given instance.
It stimulates oxytocin production.
Ever got that heart-warming feeling whenever you did a good deed, or experienced one yourself? Turns out, that sensation is due to the production of oxytocin in the body. Known as the “feel-good hormone,” oxytocin dilates blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure. Not only will you feel less stressed, but also you will feel happy!
It contributes to positive self-realization.
Both a psychological and spiritual term, “self-realization” is the state of exercising one’s full potential through one’s character. In other words, it is knowing what you’re capable of doing, and working to achieve that ideal state of being. For instance, you might not know that you would sacrifice your life for a stranger if you see them in a car accident. Not only would this test your humanistic values, but it will also test your physical and mental strength when dealing with the event. Indeed, you can surprise yourself at times!
It leads to a longer life-expectancy.
According to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health, doing good deeds can lower mortality rates for individuals. This conclusion can be traced back to #3, in which people who perform kind gestures for others have lower blood pressure and stress levels. It appears, then, that offering a helping hand combats early mortality, thus leading to a longer and more prosperous life.
It inspires you.
Doing one good deed is a nice gesture, but doing more is even wonderful. People have found that participating in acts of kindness motivates, even inspires, them to continue to do more, thus passing along the positivity to the rest of the community. It creates a chain reaction, as more and more people are inspired to do the same. What begins as an individual deed evolves into an entire community. Spread the love!