It’s no secret helping others makes people feel good. But did you know that this positive “helper’s high” feeling can have a direct impact on your physical and emotional health, as well as long-term happiness?
People who volunteer to donate blood regularly know they are helping out their community. When they say they are “giving from the heart,” they mean it! And studies now show that these same lifesaving heroes are reaping direct benefits as well.
According to The Corporation for National and Community Service, “Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Evidence suggests that volunteering has a positive effect on social psychological factors, such as one’s sense of purpose. In turn, positive social psychological factors are correlated with lower risks of poor physical health.”
Known as social integration theory, it shows that people who volunteer have a greater sense of belonging and feel that they are making a difference in their community.
However, according to the study, “Individuals must meet a volunteering threshold in order to receive the positive health outcomes from volunteering; that is, they need to commit a considerable amount of time – or at least one or two hours a week – to volunteer activities.”
Becoming a regular blood donor can be an easy but vital part of reaching that worthwhile goal.
Don’t have the time? According to Forbes, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to add volunteer-related activities into an already busy lifestyle. Part of the solution may be leveraging time already spent with family or friends. Translation: Donate together!
Make a plan to celebrate American Heart Month in February by volunteering in your local community or giving blood.