Take a moment to think about the last time you helped someone. How did you feel during and afterward? Chances are you felt amazing! You were probably riding on a “high” for quite a while as if you had just won a game or an award. This is completely natural and expected. We feel really good about ourselves and our lives when we help another person who needs a helping hand. There is no doubt that helping others is a rush like no other.
Remember the “high” we just mentioned? It turns out that science does play a large part in the process. You can thank endorphins for making you feel good and satisfied with life. The part of your brain associated with reward (e.g., when you eat food) is stimulated and releases feel-good endorphins when you perform a selfless act.
Serving others is, first and foremost, a selfless act that expects nothing in return. However, lending a helping hand improves your overall health as a byproduct. Research shows that helping others positively affects your physical, mental, and emotional health. People who are consistently helping those in need or seeking out opportunities to assist others tend to be more physically active. Secondly, helping, either individually or with an organization, offers much-needed opportunities for socialization. Socialization plays a large part in emotional health. By nature, you need human-to-human interaction. Lastly, you know you make a positive impact when contributing to a good cause. Helping increases your sense of self-worth, which improves your mental health. It is easy to see how helping helps your mind, body, and soul.
In this modern age, it may seem difficult or impossible to find those who are in need. When you think of someone in need, you may think of someone who is homeless, starving, in need of clothing, etc. But, finding someone in need can be much simpler. Here are some opportunities to be on the lookout for:
This list could go on and on. Chances are that each of us has multiple opportunities a day to live a life of service to those we encounter in our lives. Even the smallest actions can make a big difference.
It is human nature to seek feelings of satisfaction and to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Serving our fellow man is the best way to accomplish these goals while feeding our mental, emotional, and physical health. All we have to do is open our eyes to the world around us to find the many ways we can help others. Find that warm, cozy feeling that comes from serving others. Nothing gives you a rush, like knowing you are helping your family, friends, neighbor, a stranger, and even your community. Everyone can serve in their own unique way, with no gesture being too small. When we each dedicate our lives to helping others, we influence positive changes that make the world a better place.