6 Reasons to Help Others – if You Can
We’ve been told that acts of kindness are rewarded, and the benefits to the recipient are obvious. Did you know there are concrete advantages to be derived by the giver too? This article is about 6 of these. They don’t include situations, where you are guaranteed something in return. We mean “helping” in the sense of an unconditional act of kindness. Read on to find out what the benefits of helping someone in need are.
Helping Others Makes Us Feel Happier
People tend to seek out meaningful interactions. Most of us want to feel we are making a positive contribution to the world and a number of studies have shown people who help others objectively feel happier. It was proven that people who took up volunteering felt happier after the fact than before. There are specific scientific findings backing this up. Scientists have discovered helping others leads to a high release of endorphins; neurotransmitters that improve our self-esteem and mood.
In sum, helping others makes us feel better about ourselves. Of course, this isn’t true 100% of the time; we’re discussing a tendency. Yet, the giver is sometimes happier than the receiver! The next time you help someone, your brain will initiate the release of a number of happiness hormones, including oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. This is a natural and healthy process as opposed to relying on medication like oxycodone to augment hormone release artificially, which is behind the mechanism of addiction to this particular drug.
Acts of Kindness are not Forgotten
Generally, acts of kindness are remembered. Giving someone a valuable piece of advice or information or making efforts to help a person, an NPO, or a business will not be forgotten. This is going to open up new opportunities for you. You can turn to them in the future when you need help achieving a goal. Your request should not be ignored.
Like I wrote earlier, this won’t be true 100% of the time. You might have helped someone who then acted like they forgot. That’s very disappointing because helping others is supposed to be a win-win. If this happens or has happened to you, just let it go. Karma really is a thing and what goes around comes around. They will live to regret it.
It Helps Your Career
When it comes to career satisfaction, there are many factors to take into account, including meaning, independence, and creative freedom. However, the impact of your work on others is one of the most important considerations. Police officers, medical professionals, firefighters, and psychologists, whose duty is helping others, give relatively high job satisfaction ratings. Those who are more committed, happier in their job, and less likely to quit prioritize acts of kindness toward customers and coworkers.
It will help to think about how your job helps people even if you don’t deal directly with them. A thoughtful, well-written blog post will go a long way. A beautiful, gentle song will make people feel better. A masterfully created painting will amaze and inspire. You’ll feel better about your work by taking the time to consider how it helps people, even if it only helps a little bit.
Helping Others Helps You Cope With Stress
Those who help others by listening to their problems in a non-judgmental way, to the story of their lives, and what they are going through gain unique insight. You can see life from a different perspective when you understand how someone else perceives what is happening to them. One possible outcome of this is realizing that what you consider stressful or challenging is far less so compared to someone else’s experience. By really listening to someone, you might find that your own values need adjusting.
How will this help you cope with stress? We tend to place the highest value on material things like money and belongings. We make great effort to gain things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. We have heard health and family are more important than money, but we tend to realize this only in grave situations, like if we get very ill or lose a loved one. By listening to someone who has lost something or someone important, we reduce stress because we adjust our values and begin focusing on what really matters in our lives.
Volunteering Frequency is Inversely Associated with Depression Rates
In other words, the more often people volunteer, the less likely they are to experience depression. Research by a team at the University of Exeter Medical School reviewed tens of studies from the past two decades on the relationship between health and volunteering. One finding was that volunteering was connected to reduced depression rates and even improved life cycle prospects! Meaningful and rewarding social interactions can impact depression and anxiety levels positively. Keep this in mind once the pandemic subsides and social distancing is no longer a thing!
Why? The more social interactions you’re involved in, the more you face your fears and challenge yourself. This will help you understand that the world can use all the help it can get. When you change someone’s life for the better, you become more confident in your abilities and are more empowered to take control of your own life. Depression comes from wavering conviction that we can improve our circumstances and make our lives better.
Helping is Good for Your Company or Brand
In 2020 and beyond, we will witness an inevitable rise of cause marketing. This is where a company or brand takes up a non-profit initiative, thus serving genuine business objectives. Studies show that given similar price and quality, 91% of consumers would switch to a company that supports a noble cause. 67% of consumers purchased a product with a social or environmental benefit in 2019 and 92% said they would embrace the opportunity to do so.
Cause marketing can help make the world a better place, and by supporting a cause, brands promote themselves. It is a win-win no matter how you look at it. This type of marketing is on the rise because with such extreme uncertainty, people want to help brands that make a positive difference. In doing so, they feel they are reducing the ambiguity that surrounds them.
Acts of Kindness are More Valuable Than Ever
In the midst of a raging pandemic, helping others has never been more important and encouraged. People have lost their jobs, their money, or their business. Maybe this has happened to someone you know. Others have gotten very ill. We must fight the dark days of suffering ahead. Make someone happy if you can; the world has never needed more of that than it does today.