My New Year’s resolution this year is to spend more time helping others. Whenever I have volunteered to do anything in my life, it has left me with the very best feeling and I’ve been researching why.
We all know people who exercise and talk about feeling “high” during or after a workout — a happy feeling of warmth, a sense of calmness and a release of stress. Those who help others can also feel these same feelings.
This “helper’s high” is believed to be caused by the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-reducing chemicals. In addition to relieving pain, endorphins apparently also produce good feelings.
Any kind of volunteer activity can help improve your health, but studies have shown that some types are better than others. Activities that involve personal contact, such as mentoring a child or visiting the elderly, seem to be more beneficial. Volunteers who have an ongoing, one-on-one relationship with the person they are helping are more likely to experience the “helper’s high.”
There was a study done a few years ago of a group of people from varied locals who had passed the 100 year mark in their lives. They had a few things in common and one of them was that they were all very vital and engaged as helpers to others. They all also smiled and laughed a lot. It makes sense.
Involving our children early on in life in being a helper is a great piece of their education and setting the example for them personally is the ideal. It’s so terrific to be a joiner, to have your hand held up, to be the volunteer in the room. It’s also great for your kids to see that you’re someone who others can depend on. It will make them all the more stable in their own relationship with you and ultimately with others.
It’s been a wonderful year for New York Parenting. We’ve developed all kinds of new initiatives. If you’re not signed on to get our newsletters and e-blasts, please go to our homepage on www.NYPar
Wishing you all a very happy New Year. Thanks for reading.