Yesterday I blogged about the effects on us when we reach out to others and do things to make others happy. It increases our happiness.
Turns out that there might be even more benefits. I just read a little item in AARP The Magazine that said not only do people who volunteer live longer but our bodies might know this "on a molecular level."
The article said, "The specific type of happiness you derive from pursuing a greater purpose positively influences the genes in your immune system." This comes from research; and lead researcher Steven W. Cole, Ph.D., professor of medicine at UCLA, says, "People whose happiness comes primarily from doing good for others, rather than from hedonistic self-satisfaction, show a much more favorable gene profile, with less inflammation and better antibody and antiviral activity."
The article said that this can mean investing time with our grandchildren or things about which we care. How we choose to reach out and serve doesn't need to be grandiose.
So who knew there were actual health benefits? Helping others and sharing our time and our talents makes us happy, too; and that's a good thing. So if it makes us healthier as well, that's just frosting on the cake, isn't it?
What are some of your favorite ways of reaching out to others? Be sure to make time for them even if your schedule seems too busy. You'll be so glad you did.