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Can Helping Others Benefit Your Mental Health?

Our holistic health consists of the mind, body, and spirit. They are all connected to one another, and if one is out of balance, the others will be impacted as well. Think about the last time felt stressed – did you soon get a headache after, or feel tired after you started thinking more and more about what was stressing you out? That is a clear example of the direct connect between body and mind. Our spiritual side doesn’t necessarily have to be about religion (although it can be!) but it may include things like volunteering, saying something nice to someone, or surprising a loved one. Our spiritual health is just as important as our mental and physical health because it helps us to find more meaningful, enriching lives.

Mental Floss reports several benefits of helping others, such as:

  • You may live longer
  • You may start a chain reaction of random acts of kindness
  • You will likely become happier
  • You may experience less chronic pain because of this
  • Your blood pressure will likely lower
  • It will provide you with a sense of purpose and satisfaction

In 2015, Executive Editor of Harvard Women’s Health Watch Stephanie Watson explained that volunteering can help ward of depression and loneliness, as well as stress. She did highlight one caveat to volunteering, however; previous studies have shown that those who have gotten the most benefits from volunteering have done so because of true altruism – not to simply make themselves feel better.

If volunteering promotes better physical and mental health while also enhancing your spiritual health, why not take part in this? Holistic health is necessary in order for us to feel deeply enriched by our lives. By doing something good for others, you are making the world a better place. Sarah Konrath, director of the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research at Indiana University summed up the beautiful link between volunteering and wellness via The Atlantic. She stated, “…Volunteers make decisions about their health that are different from non-volunteers. One way to think about this is that when we care for ourselves, in a fundamental way, it allows us to care for others.”

The Guest House Ocala specializes in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Clinical expertise, a compassionate team, and an outstanding attention to detail ensures each guest’s experience will be customized to their needs. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: 1-855-483-7800