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5 Reasons Good Deeds Are Good For Your Body

“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”

-- Jana Stanfield, musician

Remember that time you helped a neighbor with their garage sale? Or volunteered for your community? Or donated clothes/food/other essential items to the needy?

Over a lifetime, we all do a number of good deeds. And most of the time, we feel a sense of contentment and overall happiness afterwards. But why is that? And what do those good feelings mean? And is there actual science that connects performing altruistic acts and feeling good?

Recently, more and more research has confirmed that an act of kindness not only helps make the world a better place… it can make YOU better, even if you don’t realize it.

When you do good deeds, your body rewards you for it -- perhaps in ways you’d never expect. Take a look at 5 reasons why good deeds are good for your body.

Decreases Stress

Love helping others? You probably have less stress than the average person. That’s because attending to someone else’s needs has been shown to decrease stress levels.

In a 2015 study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, researchers found that doing good for others can relieve stress. 77 adults filled out daily questionnaires about stressful events in their day as well as any good deeds they performed.

The study revealed that those who performed more daily acts of kindness were less likely to feel stressed. Conversely, the same subjects felt more stress and negativity on days they did not complete any good deeds.

Another study from 2013 examined the relationship between volunteering and high blood pressure. The researchers found adults over 50 who volunteered 4 hours a week were 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not volunteer.

Promotes Good Mental Health

A shocking 85% of people suffer from low self-esteem. That’s particularly troublesome because low self-esteem has been linked to things like anxiety, stress, loneliness and an increased likelihood of depression.

It’s crucial to your health that you maintain a high self-esteem. And fortunately, performing good deeds appears to be a sure-fire way to give yourself a boost!

A study from York University found that people who performed small acts of kindness for just 5-15 minutes a day increased their happiness and self-esteem. In fact, 6 months after the study, many of the study’s 700 subjects were still reporting high self-esteem levels!

Makes You Happier

Along the same lines, performing acts of kindness can make you an overall happier person!

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, says, "People who engage in kind acts become happier over time.” Lyubomirsky has studied happiness for over 20 years, and has found that performing positive acts once a week led to the most happiness.

There’s even a term -- “helper’s high” -- that psychologists use to describe the pleasant feeling you get when you lend a helping hand. Helper’s high usually leads to a sense of euphoria and may be accompanied by a jolt of energy.

One study found that good deeds even help maximize your overall life satisfaction. The study, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, asked the 86 participants to complete a survey that measured life satisfaction, then divided them into three separate groups. The first group was instructed to perform daily acts of kindness for 10 consecutive days. The second group was told to try something new each day for the 10 days. The third group received no instructions.

Following the 10 days, the groups were asked to fill out another life satisfaction survey. The groups that performed good deeds or new tasks both experienced significant boosts in happiness, while the third group saw no changes in happiness.

Creates A “Positive Feedback Loop”

Good deeds beget more good deeds.

A 2012 study published in Psychological Science found that when subjects thought about the times they helped others, they were more eager to help others again. This suggests that when we reflect on good deeds, we remember the positive feelings they created and are eager to feel them again.

Studies have shown that the happier someone is, the more likely they are to lend a hand or donate their time or money. And the research suggests a positive feedback loop exists between good deeds and happiness, where one encourages the other, so that you find yourself constantly striving to do good -- not only for the benefit of others, but for your own happiness and feelings of fulfillment!

Increases Life Expectancy

There’s no better feeling than helping someone in need. And apparently your body completely agrees, because studies have found a link between unselfish giving and a lower risk of early death.

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that those who provide help to others have a lower association between stress and mortality.

So can altruism be the key to a longer life?

The connection between the two was discovered inadvertently in 1956, when Cornell University researchers attempted to connect having children with early death due to the stresses of parenthood. The study followed 427 married women with children for 30 years and found that 52% of those who did not volunteer regularly experienced a major illness, compared with the 36% who did volunteer!

Stephen G. Post, PhD, a professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, says of the study, “Surprisingly, they found that numbers of children, education, class, and work status did not affect longevity."

There are a number of unselfish reasons to do your best to perform good deeds as much as possible. But these acts of kindness also have clear benefits for YOU! So do your best to lend a hand, volunteer your time, donate what you can… your brain and body will thank you!

And since we’ve talked a lot about the power of the brain…

If you’re looking for a natural, effective “shortcut” to boost your brain power -- including improving memory, increasing focus & concentration, and thinking clearly and quickly…

Click here for Dr. Sam’s #1 solution for a stronger, healthier, happier brain.



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