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The Benefits of Helping Others: Improve Your Health Through Good Deeds

Date: 07/01/22

There’s no such thing as a kind gesture that is too small or insignificant. Lending a helping hand and doing something nice for a friend, family member, or neighbor can have a lasting positive impact on all involved. We have outlined five health benefits associated with going the extra mile and putting others’ needs before your own.

Decrease Stress. You probably know someone who may need help from time to time with certain physical tasks like mulching, cutting grass, or cleaning gutters. Reach out and volunteer your efforts instead of them hiring a service. Your generosity saves them time, money, and potential injury while you enjoy the benefits of breaking a sweat like lowered stress levels, improved mood, and more energy.  

Longer Life. Donating blood is needed to maintain the nation’s blood supply, which is critical for a many medical procedures and treatments. This simple and safe act of kindness can impact and save lives of those commonly in need like premature babies, surgery patients, and trauma victims. You’ll not only receive a mini check-up that covers body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse but volunteering your time, energy, and literal blood to help others in need. Please consult the American Red Cross or your local blood bank to determine your eligibility to donate blood.

Increase Happiness. Send a letter to a close friend or family member to show your appreciation and support. Was it a friend’s birthday? Did someone graduate from high school or college recently? A hand-written note is one of the easiest things you can do to make a positive impact. It improves the wellbeing of others and your health will enjoy a boost too. Simple acts of kindness are linked to feelings of satisfaction, gratitude, and higher levels of happiness.

Lessen Loneliness. Sometimes it may be challenging for elderly individuals to run errands to the grocery store or local pharmacy. Next time you’re heading to the market, ask if they need a grocery list taken care of or medications picked up and leave items on their porch. This helps you get to know someone new and build a relationship. Companionship can have positive psychological impacts for both of you, by increasing self-esteem and feelings of belonging. Plus, offering your assistance to help others is connected to improved well-being, greater life satisfaction, and a decreased risk of depression.

Create Motivation. Helping others and performing good deeds catches on, and the more you give back the more you’ll want to help. Thinking about previous good deeds leads to feelings of belonging, selflessness, and wanting to do more. Combine exercise with giving back for a mental and physical health boost. Next time you go for a walk through your neighborhood, grab an empty garbage bag, and pick up litter along the way. This simple helpful act creates a cleaner environment, protects wildlife, and improves your cardiovascular and immune health. It also creates a sense of community and inspires others to do their part.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Please always follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Programs and services are subject to change. Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, LLC. The MHN companies include Managed Health Network and MHN Services, LLC. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, LLC or its affiliates. All rights reserved