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How Helping Others Can Reduce Stress and Increase Happiness

Help Yourself Find Happiness By Helping Others

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Updated April 09, 2014

How Helping Others Can Reduce Stress and Increase Happiness

Helping others can do a world of good for both of you.

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Helping others brings good feelings to the giver and the receiver of the good deeds. Using your special gifts to help others can be a gift to yourself as you enjoy a self esteem boost for making others’ lives better, and make the world a better place. You feel more worthy of good deeds yourself, your trust in the decency of people is reinforced, and you feel more connected to yourself and to others. In fact, research shows that those who demonstrate more altruistic social interest tend to enjoy higher levels of mental health, above and beyond the practical benefits of receiving help and other known psychospiritual, stress, and demographic factors that you would expect.

Creating a balanced lifestyle that includes service to others can help you feel less stress as well, as you feel more connected to your spirit, more grateful for what you have, and less invested in the ‘rat race’ that causes stress for so many of us. Focusing on the positive in life, and creating more positive things in the world, can help you to maintain greater feelings of happiness and fulfillment as well.

The following articles can give you ideas and resources for how to create a life that includes more helping others.

  • Finding Meaning Through Helping Others: Do you have a nagging feeling that something's missing? Many people find volunteering time, money or castoffs as a way to give life meaning. Learn more about how getting involved in a cause you believe in can help reduce stress, increase happiness, and bring more meaning to your life. These tips make it easy for people of various lifestyles.
  • Follow Your Passion: This resource from Oprah helps you to look within yourself and see what you'd like to be doing to help others, and then do it!
  • Network For Good: This site can help you keep track of your charitable donations for tax purposes. Better still, it can help you find volunteer opportunities in your area that fit your criteria, whether you're looking to help a lonely senior, play with a homeless puppy, or get involved with a different cause.

Read More About The Benefits of Altruism

Sources:

Schwartz C, Meisenhelder JB, Ma Y, Reed G. Altruistic Social Interest Behaviors are Associated with Better Mental Health. Psychosomatic Medicine. September/October 2003.

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