Doing good can make you feel good! That’s according to Stanford University psychologist Emma Seppala.
Some people call it a “helpers high”… and it is similar to a runner’s high, or even the feel-good effects of eating something delicious. Doing acts of kindness releases mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain – but the mood boost lasts longer.
That’s because humans are hard-wired to help each other. It’s how we survived when civilization began. And donating your time or money can help you build bonds with others – and that fills us with a sense of purpose and belonging, which creates lasting happiness by giving meaning to your life.
And over time, regularly doing good deeds, or volunteering, improves our health, too. People who volunteer once a month report better mental health than those who volunteer less. And people who volunteer a couple hours a week tend to live longer!
If you’re looking for opportunities to give back, here are a couple places to go:
Try VolunteerMatch.org… It connects you with volunteer opportunities in your area.
Or try networks like TapRootFoundation.org – or CatchAFire.org. They match your skills to nonprofits that need help.