“What goes around, comes around,” is a true expression when it comes to the variety of benefits from giving back and helping others. People who volunteer consistently report higher levels of happiness, but did you know that giving back and helping others can also affect your health?
Sometimes called the “Giver’s Glow” or the “Helper’s High,” your body releases a set of feel-good chemicals in your body whenever you help someone or perform an altruistic act. Done consistently and with genuine care for others’ well-being, helping others and the subsequent chemical release can lead to impactful health benefits, according to Robert A. Barnett for iVillage.com, including:
- Less stress.
- Increased immunity.
- Lessened risk of heart disease.
- Enhanced emotional resilience.
- Longer life expectancy.
With the multitude of mental, physical and emotional positive benefits, many companies are taking note and offering a day off to their employees to volunteer at a non-profit organization of their choosing and helping with that organization.
Other companies like The Salvation Army and Keller Williams are using volunteering opportunities as a team-building activity, with company getaways to a soup kitchen, children’s hospital or other non-profit organization, creating memories between employees, as well as positively impacting the community.
During the holidays, some companies, such as Koch Industries or Oxfam America, will even donate a specified amount to an employee’s non-profit organization of their choosing.
These small acts of giving back can add up in a big way, improving not only the happiness of the employees, but also their health, increasing your company’s efficiency and return on investment. In a 2001 study done by the MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers found that lost work days declined by 80%, and cost savings totaled $1.5 million over a six-year period since they introduced an employee wellness program, according to Dr. Das Suman in his article, “Business: Healthy Employees Cost You Less!”
For a list of volunteering opportunities in your area, visit www.serve.gov.