Why Doing Good Makes Us Feel Good
Helper’s high is another name for the uplifting feeling that people experience after doing a good deed or act of kindness. This high is rooted in natural instincts to help our fellow humans. Evolution has wired us to help each other since helping others is beneficial to human survival. Humans are social beings, meaning that we have evolved to create and maintain social bonds. Kindness, compassion, and altruism are ways that we have learned to do this. After doing good, our bodies release feel good endorphins that reward us for our actions. It’s a natural “high” that is designed to motivate us to continue doing good.
There is a body of research that supports this. Scientific studies have been done to research how helping others effect the body and the brain. Not only does volunteering immediately effect the brain, but over time continual volunteer experiences have an impact on life span. Basically, acts of kindness lower stress levels. Lowered levels of stress is good for a body for many reasons. Low stress can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and can improve immunity by raising the levels of antibodies produced. This decreases the chance for catching illnesses such as the flu or common cold.
All in all, volunteering is a great way to improve mental and physical health. There are easy ways to get this helper’s high every day. A simple act of kindness towards a loved one or a stranger will make a huge impact on you as well as them. Little things make a difference and are easy to do. Or you can sign up for a volunteer experience to help those in your community. That helper’s “high” is within your grasp!