Doing good does you good

Altruistic August

That’s the name of this month’s calendar from the fantastic Action for Happiness crew.

In a world where much communication is directing us to think of ourselves, it can be easy to forget that happiness can come from caring for others.

But what specific positive effects is evidenced from altruism I hear you cry?

Glad you asked.

Evidence from multiple references collated from the Mental Health Foundation shows that helping others has a positive effect on your own mental health and wellbeing. These are:

  • Helping others feels good
    Helping others promotes physiological changes in the brain linked with happiness. Also improves our support networks, encouraging us to be more active which in turn can improve self-esteem.
  • Creating a sense of belonging and reduces isolation
    Volunteering and helping others can also help us feel a sense of belonging, make new friends, and connect with our community.
  • Keeping things in perspective
    There is some evidence that being aware of your own acts of kindness, as well as the things you are grateful for can increase feelings of happiness, optimism, and satisfaction.
  • Helping make the world a happier place – it’s contagious
    It may encourage others to repeat the good deed that they’ve experienced themselves – contributing to a more positive community.
  • More you do for others, the more you do for yourself
    The benefits of helping others can last long after the act itself, both for you and them.

Ultimately doing good, does you good.

Action for Happiness have suggestions of different ways people can be kind every single day.

Which act of kindness will you do?