Why helping others is good for you

Woman helping elderly lady cross the road holding pink silk umbrella

We all admire those people who give off the feel good vibes, radiate optimism and inspire others. How do they do it? By being one of life's 'helpers'.

Benefits of helping other people include being happier and healthier in yourself, and leading a fuller life.

Helping other people triggers the mesolimbic system, the portion of the brain that is responsible for feeling reward. This results in the brain releasing feel-good chemicals like oxytocin that help release endorphins, which reduce stress, boost pleasure and make you feel good about life.

It’s a self fulfilling scenario. Helping other people will make you feel good, which will spur you on to perform more kind deeds. Experts have found that performing acts of kindness boosts your mood and ultimately makes you more optimistic and positive. The more you help others, the more you give off positive vibes, which can rub off on your peers, improve your friendships and inspire others. Because kindness, liking smiling, is contagious. 

In this inspiring TEDTalk video, Mark Kelly explains how beneficial helping others is for your health, including decreasing anxiety levels and enhancing vitality. 

Seemingly small yet altruistic deeds like these work both ways, in that their day is improved as much as yours, and the good stuff reverberates back to you both. And if you’re the one who needs the help, don’t decline when others offer; they might need the boost as much as you do. 

So go out there, and make someone’s day, whilst helping yourself. Winning!