Systems Personnel’s mission is to Improve Lives Through Employment but we don’t just help when there is a potential for a paycheck. We are committed to volunteering as a group and individually, and we offer our professional services to adults and students whom we can’t benefit from financially. What we didn’t know is how much our mission is benefitting our health!
How many times have we heard that it’s better to give than to receive but did you know that it’s been proven scientifically? Research has proven the concept that giving to totters leads to personal growth and continued happiness. MRI results show that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are driven by food and sex. Experiments have also proven that selflessness is hardwired in the brain and causes pleasure. Helping others leads to personal growth and continued happiness. Yes, we are all busy and can find it difficult to spare the time to volunteer, but helping others can help to reduce stress, improve your emotional well being, and even help your body to boost its immune system.
If that’s not a good enough reason to help out your fellow man, a study at Northwestern confirmed that adults, 32-84 years old, who have a sense of purpose scored higher in memory, executive functioning, and overall cognition. They also sleep better at night. The same group also found that having a purpose in life gave younger people a greater positive self-image, less delinquency, and better transitioning to adulthood. Don’t forget to invite your kids to join you when you volunteer.
Not sure of where to start? Here are some ideas:
Volunteering Your Time:
- Find a cause that is near and dear to your heart. The more passionate you are about the cause, the better you’ll feel!
- Organize a fundraiser. The holidays are a great time to invite some friends over and ask them to bring a gift or donation for your favorite charity.
- While you are checking your social media, make sure to share posts from your favorite charities. Maybe someone else will be interested enough to share their time as well.
Daily Random Acts of Kindness:
- Compliment someone in the grocery store or on the street.
- Send flowers or a handwritten note to someone you haven’t talked to lately.
- Let that aggressive driver merge in front of you! (I know, that’s a hard one.)
During the Work Day:
- Organize a community volunteer opportunity for your co-workers.
- Praise someone for their good work.
- Bring in snacks for your teammates.
Giving can be as simple as saying hello or smiling at the stranger who passes by. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Helping others takes the focus off of ourselves and it’s contagious! Let’s change the world, and improve our health, one good deed at a time!
“The Secret to Happiness Is Helping Others,” by Jenny Santi
February 2016 Study- “The Neurobiology of Giving Versus Receiving Support: The Role of Stress-Related and Social Reward-Related Neural Activity.”