People have known for ages that helping others is good for the soul. A study based on research here in the US 20 yrs ago proves it. Allan Luks followed 3000 male and female volunteers and outlines the positive effects for the body and mental health as well.
- Decreases effects of disease, psychological and physical.
- Rush of euphoria, (helper’s high), and an endorphin release (natural painkillers), followed by calmness.
- Improves stress-related health problems. Reverses depression, gives social contact, decreasing feelings of hostility and isolation. A drop in stress decreases lung constriction, asthma attacks, overeating and ulcers.
- Enhances joyfulness, emotional resilience, vigor, and reduces the sense of isolation.
- Decreases in intensity and awareness of physical pain.
- Chronic hostility is reduced.
- Heath benefits and well-being return for hours or days when a good deed is remembered.
- Increase in self-worth, happiness and optimism. Decrease in feelings of helplessness and depression.
- Establishes friendships, love and positive bonds – these emotions strengthen the immune system.
- An altruistic lifestyle is critical to mental health.
Allan Luks: The Healing Power of Doing Good