In the spirit of Ramadan, charity and random acts of kindness are strongly encouraged. Yet another aspect of giving is that it can actually be beneficial for our wellbeing. HEALTH takes a closer look.
From donating clothes to providing Iftar boxes to laborers, helping others without thinking about yourself or anything you would gain from it are known as acts of altruism, explains Professional Development Coach José de Heer. “While charity is a selfless act, charity can actually boost our own well-being,’ she explains, and it can give you a sense of purpose and keep you active.
Helping others is also good for your relationships. So be it a homemade meal to a sick neighbor or a cup of coffee to your colleague, these kind acts bond two people. In fact, it’s within our genetics – we are wired to appreciate kindness.
Allan Luks, the author of “The Healing Power of Doing Good”, demonstrated that volunteering benefits your health. Volunteers gain tremendous benefits from the act of giving, such as a reduction in stress and depression, a decrease in physical pain, and a rush of endorphins that makes people literally feel great inside. In a study of more than 3,000 volunteers from more than 20 charitable organizations across America, Luks analyzed how the volunteers felt both during and after conducting their acts of kindness. He was able to directly link a feeling of good health with volunteering. One of the most unique things Luks found was what he coined as “helper’s high.” This refers to the rush of endorphins the body releases during and after performing an act of volunteerism. Once endorphins are released, they help the body experience a sustained feeling of calm that can increase overall emotional health.
The Bright Side
Therefore, when volunteering, you not only change or touch the lives of others; you also improve your own life, points out de Heer. “Positivity has a great effect on your happiness levels, and therefore your health,” she tells. “Volunteering also helps you create change as it is voluntary; people choose the charity or organization that they are passionate about.” Also, helping others is also an invaluable quality in the workplace, and really helps effectiveness and productivity as people who like to help others create connection and positivity.