How Helping Others Helps You
The Scientific Benefits of Helping others & What you Can do Today
There is science behind the positive effects of helping others. Every day you can add a few easy FREE activities to help yourself reduce stress, feel better & live longer.
HELPING OTHERS CAN HELP YOU LIVE LONGER.
Giving and helping others may increase how long we live.
Fact: Happy people may live up to 18% longer than their less happy counterparts (55Trusted Source)
ALTRUISM IS CONTAGIOUS.
What is altruism? It’s when we put other people’s needs before our own.
Example: offering your seat to a pregnant woman on a bus or making a cup of tea for a work colleague.
Acts of kindness definitely fall into this category. It can also encourages others to repeat the good deed that they’ve experienced themselves — AKA contagious.
Fact: Providing support to others may be more beneficial than receiving it. In addition to accepting care from your friends and family, make sure to return the favor (75Trusted Source).
HELPING OTHERS MAKES US HAPPY & MAY HELP WITH STRESS, CHRONIC PAIN & LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE.
When you help others, it promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness.
“Helping others improves social support, encourages us to lead a more physically active lifestyle, distracts us from our own problems, allows us to engage in a meaningful activity and improves our self-esteem and competence. Evidence shows that the benefits of helping others can last long after the act itself by providing a ‘kindness bank’ of memories that can be drawn upon in the future.” http://mentalfloss.com/article/71964/7-scientific-benefits-helping-others
Fact: “Stressful days usually lead us to have a worse mood and poorer mental health, but our findings suggest that if we do small things for others, such as holding a door open for someone, we won’t feel as poorly on stressful days.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151214084744.htm
HELPING OTHERS PROMOTES POSITIVE BEHAVIORS & KEEPING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE.
Many people don’t realize the impact that a different perspective can have on their outlook on life.
Helping others in need, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, can provide a needed perspective and make you realize how lucky you are, enabling you to stop focusing on what you feel you are missing — allowing you to see how much you do have in life.
Fact: “Benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable…” Via The Upward Spiral.
A Way better natural solution than popping a Prozac.
HELPING OTHERS GIVES US A SENSE OF PURPOSE, SATISFACTION & BELONGING.
Being a part of a social network leads to a feeling of belonging. Face-to-face activities such as volunteering at a drop-in center can help reduce loneliness and isolation.
Fact: Researchers report that maintaining healthy social networks can help you live up to 50% longer (66Trusted Source).
It’s a great way to do something for others and research shows that it benefits people of all ages through increasing feelings of self-esteem, respect, motivation and well being.
Here are some ideas for how you can get involved:
- Become a member of your local neighborhood watch, club at school, or attend a town hall meeting
- Offer your expertise and support as a mentor for those who are in need and then create an action plan that can help other people going thru the same pain points
- Become involved in a charity that you are passionate about. Use your skills and experiences to help them achieve their mission
- Invite your friends and neighbors in community projects and group activities. i.e. create a communal garden or a coffee meetup group
- Volunteer your help in a crisis. If your local community has experienced a bad flood or fire, help with the clean-up or even offer your sofa to someone who has been affected
Listening and counselling are all forms of peer support, as are initiatives where colleagues, members of self-help groups and others meet as equals to give each other support.
Supporting your peers by sharing knowledge, experience and emotional help is incredibly valuable. Peers can offer advice, coping strategies and empathy that professionals may not be able to.
Ways to get start mentoring:
- Mentor students to help them adjust to a new school or college
- Help someone who has a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety; it can improve confidence, self-awareness and symptoms
- Offer advice to help people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or arthritis
- Older people can help isolated peers reconnect with communities and social networks
- Create action plans on Life.Cafe to help people everywhere in the world looking for expert guidance and support!
Doing something for a good cause
Getting involved with a cause that is close to your heart can be hugely beneficial for both the cause you are supporting and your own sense of well being and achievement.
Ways to get involved:
- Follow your chosen charity on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and join in with the conversation.
- Sign-up to receive your charity’s newsletter and keep up-to-date with the work they’re doing.
- Hold a fundraising event in your local community or at work.
- Raise money by taking part in a fun sporting event, or donating for a silent auction charity event. If you want to go big, you could run a marathon or even take part in a sponsored sky dive
Random acts of kindness
A small act of kindness can go along way throughout the day:
At home and in your community
- Say “Hi” when you see regulars around town
- Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
- Call a relative and say, “Hi!” and see how they are doing
- Send flowers to a friend out of the blue
- Offer to pick up some groceries for your elderly neighbor or share a meal with them
- Help a friend pack for a move
- Send someone a handwritten thank you note
- Offer to babysit for a friend
- Walk your friend’s dog or house sit their cats
- Tell your family members how much you love and appreciate them
- Help out your roommate or spouse with household chores
- Shovel snow for an elderly neighbor
- Check on someone you know who is going through a tough time
- Help a friend get active
- Make a cup of coffee for your colleagues
- Get to know the new staff member or someone who just moved into your building
- Lend your ear — listen to your colleague who is having a bad day
- Say good morning
- Bake some treats for your colleagues
- Give praise to your colleague for something they’ve done well
In public places
- Give up your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person — Let someone jump the line at the supermarket
- Take a minute to help a tourist who is lost even though you are in a rush — Have a conversation with a homeless person
- Help a mother carrying her push chair down the stairs or hold the door for her
- Let a fellow driver merge into your lane
- Pick up garbage lying around in the street
- Smile and say hello to people you may pass every day, but have never spoken to before
Being kind to friends, family and strangers really does improve your emotional and physical wellbeing.
More you do for other people= More they’ll do for you
Result is you’ll feel even better. We’re asking you to try and help others once a day for a week and see if it makes a difference to how you feel. Try to keep track of any volunteering that you’ve done, support you’ve given to friends and family or any random acts of kindness that you’ve carried out or that someone has done for you, and make a note of how they made you feel. We have made it easy for you to use your Life.Cafe Action Plan App “How to Feel Better by Helping Others”. Pull it out every day until it becomes natural and routine. Cross off as you complete doing different things for others and be sure to log each day what you did and how it made you feel in your Action Plan;-) It’s FREE and something you’ll be rewarded doing for the rest of your life!
Why I wrote this article?
As CEO and co-founder with my husband starting Life.Cafe, we put everything into our start-up and as you know from Silicon Valley TV Show the highs and lows are real. We often would laugh and then cry because this was our lives only like 10x as a female CEO and trying to launch a B2C, consumer software service, outside of the Silicon Valley pond in a B2B, business to business town of Seattle. Not knowing where our rent was going to come from 90% of the time and dealing with Imposture Syndrum as a first time Tech CEO and having a single parent Mother who almost died taking care of our elderly grandmother before she passed, that weakened her so badly she fell down the stairs braking her T1 and hospitalized for over 100 days, then released into assisted living care facility (that Medicare didn’t cover) to learn how to walk again on the week of our launch… I’ll stop there because you can read the rest in my tell all book later. The point is that with all the uncertainties and things out of our control it was helping others that kept us alive and going thru our most difficult times.
Helping others is the most untapped and unlimited sustainable resource we all have access to in life. My wish is that you can recharge using this FREE action plan and let it fuel you to live your dream life by helping others. My only ask is WHEN you use this FREE plan you continue to pay it forward.
Ways to Pay It Forward:
- Become a creator on Life.Cafe
- Share it with someone who has helped you in life & invite them to be a creator on Life.Cafe
- Share your story using this plan & how it made you feel on a YouTube video, IG or Facebook post and tag us! #life4all #lifecafe #projectfreedom #strongertogether
Thank you to our inspiring & generous Life.Cafe Founders, Advisors, and local communities who were always there helping us live thru this start-up roller coaster ride.
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