6 Ways Helping Others Gives You Superpowers
“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”
~ Dr. Seuss
Consider the demure smile of Mona Lisa, the broad grin of Will Smith, and the toothy, all-encompassing smile that Julia Roberts dons. Politicians and movie stars have mastered the art of smiling-under-any-circumstances. Yet why is smiling so important?
Quite simply, because it brings us joy.
For years, science has demonstrated the importance of a smile. Not only can the act of smiling elevate our moods substantially, but seeing someone else smile has the same effect… especially if we are the reason for their smile. In a belated nod to the International Day of Happiness, Chummy is here to offer you six reasons why it will do your body (and mind) good to reach out and help someone.
Feel Better Physically
Research shows that when a person donates to charity or gives of themselves to others, the portion of the brain responsible for rewards and gratification is triggered. Called the mesolimbic system, this part of the brain releases chemicals that produce a feel-good high and prompts a person to do more kind acts.
Over the past 100 years, humans have added 30 years to the average life expectancy. While this is due to numerous factors, two of the most impactful ways are by maintaining social connections and engaging in physical activity. Volunteering to help someone in your community achieves both purposes.
Build Stronger Friendships
Being a helper to others can help you build stronger, longer-lasting friendships. By helping others, you release positive chemicals. This effect can rub off on others, thereby helping you form better friendships, according to a 2007 study by the National Institutes of Health. The idea here is that you’ll both benefit from contributing to a mutually giving relationship.
Feel More Empowered
While you already know that helping others leads to greater fulfillment, it may come as a surprise how much helping someone else can also make you feel empowered. As reported by United Health Group, 96 percent of people who volunteered in the previous year felt a greater sense of purpose.
Improve Your Self-Esteem
If you’re like many of us, your inner critic does a whole lot more talking than you’d prefer. Just in case you’d like to quiet that voice down, consider being a chum and helping others. Turns out that doing so will improve your self-esteem and overall well-being. Researches show that as your sense of social-connectedness increases, so does your sense of self. For an extra boost of confidence, volunteer more often. The more consistently you volunteer, the more esteem you’ll be able to cultivate.
Create a Domino Effect
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Broken Window Theory, wherein leaving something in disrepair encourages other people to continue that cycle of neglect. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. When people notice someone performing acts of kindness, they are far more likely to commit acts of kindness themselves. Positivity breeds positivity. Through one act of kindness, then, you have the potential to create a whole cycle of uplifting change.
Are you ready to help make the world a kinder place and unleash your superpowers? It’s simple. Just ensure the Chummy app is on your smartphone. When you’re ready to unleash the domino effect of kindness, check out other people’s Pins-for-Help on the map and offer a hand. This free app will provide you with countless opportunities to impact others and reap all the benefits of doing so ❤︎