Studies have suggested that volunteering and helping is associated with a reduced risk of mortality.
The euphoric feeling you feel after an act of generosity or kindness is known as a “helpers’ high”. This feeling is followed by a phase of calmness and is a positiveaddiction. After a genuine act of generosity, your brain releases feel-good chemicals that reduce stress and perk up your immune system. These endorphins improve emotional well-being and feelings of self-worth.
Here are some of the physical and mental benefits of being generous:
It helps you live longer
Helping a family member or partner with small chores may boost your longevity. A study showed that married couples over the age of 65 that helped each other with transportation, household chores, shopping, errands or other tasks were approximately half as likely to die over the next five years than those couples who didn’t offer help.
It helps reduce stress
A study has shown that stingy behaviour increases stress. Not sharing your wealth increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Hoarding money results in long-term stress and misery.
Helping people, especially strangers, causes your body to release oxytocin, which is the love hormone. This hormone increases social trust and helps you feel tranquil, while lowering your stress levels. This is probably one of the reasons why generosity boosts longevity.
It helps lower blood pressure
A study found that people who lend support to people within their social groups had lower blood pressure and arterial pressure than those that didn’t offer social support. The study also found that the people who did offer social support also received it in return.
It lowers the risk of depression and boosts your mood
Research shows that volunteering and donating feels as good as receiving help. People whose spouses have died recover from depression if they help others deal with their loss. Providing care and assistance strengthens the emotional health of someone who has faced a tragedy. People who have struggled with trauma or addiction begin to heal emotionally if they help other people with similar problems. It improves confidence and self-esteem, and alleviates the symptoms of depression.
When people attempt to be generous, the body releases feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, which has a relaxing effect. The body may also release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is used to treat depression. The helper’s high is basically a mood elevation and causes you to feel happy and peaceful.