-by Allan Luks
Allan Luks, former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Health and executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City, has studied kindness and the clear cause-and-effect relationship between helping and good health.
Some of the most significant findings of his research include the following:
- Helping others contributes to the maintenance of good health and can diminish the effect of minor and serious psychological and physical diseases and disorders.
- The rush of euphoria often referred to as a “helper’s high” after performing a kind act involves physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, the endorphins. The initial rush is followed by a longer period of calm and improved emotional well-being.
3 .The health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours or even days whenever the helping act is remembered.
4.Stress related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping others:
- Supplies social contact.
- Reverses feelings of depression
- Reduces feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress,overeating, ulcers, etc.
- Decreases the constriction in the lungs that leads to asthma attacks
- Helping can enhance feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, and vigor, and can reduce theunhealthy senseof isolation.
- The awareness and intensity of physical pain can decrease.
- Attitudes such as chronic hostility that negatively arouse and damage the body are reduced.
- A sense of self-worth, greater happiness, and optimism is increased, and feelings of helplessnessand depression decrease.
- When we establish an “affiliative connection” with someone (a relationship of friendship, love, or somesort of positive bonding), we feel emotions that can strengthen the immune system.
- Caring for strangers leads to immense immune and healing benefits.
- Regular club attendance, volunteering, entertaining, or faith group attendance is the happiness equivalent of getting a college degree, or more than doubling your income.Book on Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others www.amazon.ca