Helping Others Can Help Your Mental Health

People are generally good nature and love to help others! That appears to be the outcome of a recent study published in the BMC Public Health journal. Volunteering is described as the use of free will resulting in benefiting others, helps to improve your well-being and increase your longevity. Didn’t we always feel the same way?

“Make others happy and you will be happy as well” – that’s what our mothers teach us when we first refuse to share our toys. They knew what to teach!

A Study, based mainly on Americans, concluded: People who volunteer tend to have improved ability for daily living and health coping mechanisms, which therefore, leads to a better quality of life, social support and higher self-esteem. The curious part of the study is that even if health benefits resulting from volunteering were not reported, all in all, if we selflessly help others, we reduce our chances of suffering from depression. In addition, we deal with stress better, which consequently give us a greater chance of living longer.  Isn’t it what we all want?

If so, you can go and do something altruistic for people who will appreciate your time and effort, and don’t panic: you don’t have to spend all day sacrificing your own needs just for good of others. Reports indicate that 30 minutes of volunteering a week might be good enough. There are many way of volunteering your time. You might help community growing trees, feed homeless pets, or take an old lady for a walk in a park. Just do what you want. Feel free.

Researchers didn’t investigate how that mechanism works. It might be simply due to extra physical activities you have to do while volunteering – leaving the house more often, moving faster to be able to accomplish everything.

It might be extra exposure to fresh air if we work outside or extra communication as well. Remember that friends make us happy. There is nothing easier than finding friends when doing something for others.

It might be simply our natural desire to see other people happy.

Another report states that even buying something for other people makes you feel happier than buying for yourself. Don’t you know the feeling?

Human beings are extremely complicated creatures. What’s good for one might be completely wrong for another. Nevertheless, there are some similarities in our nature, and the tendency to help others is one of them. This is perhaps one of the reasons our bodies respond to volunteering in such a positive way.

As the Dalai Lama once said, if you selfishly want to be happy be selfish in a smart way – work for the welfare of other people.

Simple truth known for centuries is now scientifically supported. Helping others is the best way to improve your life and happily live longer.

Written by Alsu Salakhutdinov

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