Goodness is its own reward.
Now we have medical evidence giving credence to that old saying, linking our kindness to others, whether in the form of money or labor, with better health.
1. People who give their time in volunteer service have better physical and mental health. They say they feel high self-esteem, low levels of depression, and are happy with their lives. Better heart health is also one of the many benefits of working to help others, studies say.
2. Giving to others is like eating chocolates, only without the calories. Like the effect of eating chocolates, giving to others rev up our brain’s reward center, which makes chemicals called endorphins that give us a happy high.
3. People who volunteer recover faster from a wide range of ailments — including depression and heart attacks — than those who don’t volunteer. They may also feel less pain.
4. It’s not the giving so much as the feelings that giving creates. Being kind to our loved ones, strangers, and even our enemies does our bodies good. All that positive energy cuts stress hormones and lowers chemicals that can cause inflammation — and disease.
5. We can get a major boost to both our mental and physical health from as little as 2 hours of volunteering a week!
No wonder we are called to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”
“Be kind. Be kind. And you will become a saint.” -St. Vincent de Paul