Deep down we all know that helping others is good. Our parents and teachers taught us to share and to help those who are struggling or in need. We’re bombarded with messages of giving each day and yet many of us don’t know where to begin. There are many benefits to helping others of course. The recipient of the assistance gets at least some of what they need. When you donate clothing to the thrift store or pack meals for Help My Starving Children, you know the people you are aiming to help are getting some relief. And that’s usually all the thanks anyone needs to know to continue to help.

Turns out, there are a lot more benefits to helping others than just what the recipient of the help gets. The person giving the assistance also greatly benefits from the act. It also turns out that the simple act of giving – whether your time, money or other generosity – can actually extend your life. Read on for more benefits of helping others.

Benefits of Helping Others

  1. It Feels Good – Helping others just feels good. Even when people are forced to volunteer, many will report that it felt good. People who give of their time freely do so because they get a warm feeling of satisfaction knowing they have helped another person in need. When doing good deeds your brain releases chemicals like dopamine that make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Of course this chemical release feels good so we’re spurred on to do more good deeds. That’s why it’s so important to reach out and help others when you’re feeling down. It helps those in need, and it helps you out of your bad mood.
  2. Confidence Booster – People who donate to their favorite cause or volunteer their time have been found to have higher self esteem. The more you volunteer, the better you feel and the higher your confidence goes. Give it a try.
  3. Attitude Readjuster – Helping others can turn a Doubting Debby into a Positive Polly. It’s true, people who see the glass as half empty can actually become half full kind of people when they start donating or volunteering.
  4. Community – Even if you volunteer on your own, most people report a sense of community with those who help and those in need. A sense of belonging is a crucial part of a healthy outlook and demeanor. Those who feel as though they belong to a community are less likely to suffer from loneliness and isolation which can stave off depression and other mental illnesses.
  5. Gratitude – Helping others is a wonderful way to feel grateful. It’s easy to get into a rut where you feel as though nothing is going your way. Spend a few days volunteering for those in need and you’ll immediately realized your life is actually pretty good. The petty disappointments we face daily are nothing compared to those who struggle to keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

These are just some of the benefits of helping others, if you’d like to help those in need you can click here to help the victims of the recent hurricanes. Many of the resources listed there are great places to donate and volunteer even where there has been no natural disaster.