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How Helping Others Can Make You Happier

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How Helping Others Can Make You Happier

When people help one another, the one being helped obviously benefits from the assistance. Did you know that the person providing the help benefits as well? Showing generosity can actually benefit YOU.

Being kind to others on a regular basis can not only flood the body with good-feeling hormones, but it can also contribute to less stress, improved mood, strengthened immunity and stronger, healthier hearts.

How Helping Others Can Make You Happier

Here is why taking action to help others may also benefit you and bring you some extra happiness:

  1. Volunteering. According to studies, a helping and volunteering behavior can lead to a longer lifespan. In fact, in couples over the age of 65, those who helped each other or someone they knew with shopping, transportation, errands, housework, childcare or chores, lived longer than those who kept to themselves and didn’t reach out to others.
  2. Giving. It’s natural to feel a little vulnerable when reaching out to help others, but overcoming fear in order to give your time and attention to others can actually reduce stress levels and release a hormone called oxytocin, known as the compassion hormone. This may be a reason why a person’s longevity can be associated with being compassionate and giving to others.
  3. Compassionate thinking. Just using your imagination in coming up with ways to help others can send signals to your brain that can make you feel more light-hearted and compassionate. Studies have shown when people think of helping others, the feel-good chemical in the brain called dopamine, as well as serotonin, is released and helps prevent depression. Research has also shown that people who helped in soup kitchens felt an elevation in their moods and experienced more peace compared to those who had not spent time volunteering in a compassionate way.
  4. Caring. When feeling a connection with someone, it’s a natural reaction to want to care for them much like a mother cares for a baby or an adult cares for their elderly parent. The hormone oxytocin is released and emotions are activated. This tends to bring a sense of happiness and joy to both parties.
  5. Improving health. The hormone called cortisol that is released from the brain in response to stress has unfortunately been shown to have an effect on the heart. However, by lending a helping hand, cortisol is actually more contained. Based on studies, people who practiced acts of hospitality actually reduced their risk of heart disease, dementia and overall declining health.

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Globe Life is rated A (Excellent)** by A.M. Best Company based on their latest analysis of Globe Life's financial strength, management skills and integrity. (rating as of 7/20)
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