How Giving Back Makes You Healthier
Happy autumn everyone! As we transition into a cooler, more yin season, it is natural to begin to reflect inward and consider the important things in life. In celebration, for the month of October, I am donating 25% of all proceeds to The Pain Free Project – a non-profit organization that provides acupuncture and other natural healthcare options to survivors of human trafficking. This is an issue that is close to my heart and I am so excited to be able to support these survivors and their health needs.
Giving back has been on my mind a lot lately. Each one of us has something we can give to improve the lives of someone else, whether that be time, money, a service, or even just a listening ear. I wanted to delve into this idea this month and look at how giving back can even improve our own health. See all the fabulous health benefits of giving below!
Help Others, Help Yourself
If you haven’t been in for a while, treat yourself to some TLC this month and you will be helping these survivors thrive. When you come in for acupuncture in the month of October, 25% of your payment will go to The Pain Free Project. This donation helps to provide acupuncture treatments to survivors and full-time employees serving this community. Heal your own body while helping a survivor find healing herself – what could be better than that?
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The Health Benefits of Giving Back
In addition to all the benefits of coming in for your regular or seasonal acupuncture treatment, this month your visit will do double duty. The act of giving back itself does wonders for the body and mind. Not only does it feel good to help someone, but there are also some surprising physical benefits of paying it forward. So, let’s delve into exactly how giving back can boost your own health and wellbeing!
Helping someone out might just help you sleep sound at night. The mind is relaxed and calmed after volunteering or donating money or time to those who need it. We are able to rest easy when we feel our lives have a purpose and that we make a difference for others. In addition, giving back relieves stress, pain, and other issues that might cause sleep issues. By giving back regularly, you can keep these issues at bay and enjoy peaceful sleep.
Studies have found that people’s perceived pain levels can drop just by attending a volunteer training or discussing plans on how to help others. As we feel more purposeful and empowered, we notice pain and discomfort less. Getting involved in an organization or helping a neighbor out might be another tool to managing your chronic pain.
Lower Blood Pressure
Can helping others actually reduce your blood pressure? According to a study done by Psychology & Aging, those who volunteer and dedicate their time to helping others are 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure. The act of giving and interacting with others improves our moods and relieves stress, which also help to keep blood pressure regulated.
Less Stress and Depression
Helping others releases the “bonding hormone” oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is famous for making us feel more attached, connected, and calm. These effects on the brain help to greatly reduce stress and boost our feel-good neurotransmitters. When we focus our attention on others, we are able to see our own worries in a different light. Find gratitude in your own circumstances and feel proud of yourself for making time to help others.
Mahatma Ghandi said, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” And how true it is. By focusing on others and how you can be of service, you stop the incessant chatter in the brain that creates tension and anxiety. We begin to seek out the important things in life and release the unnecessary clutter. We help others and feel an instant connection to them and the community as a whole. Solving problems makes our brains happy, and we feel the rush of accomplishment when we help someone and see them succeed. We find a deeper sense of purpose in all that we do when we work to help others in need.
Less stress, better moods, improved sleep. These are all fabulous daily benefits of giving back. Turns out that these little benefits can really pack a punch over time, improving overall health and even helping you to live longer. Studies show that even a few hours of volunteering a year can help to make a difference. And think of the impact you will make in your community as well!
Give Back This October
There are so many ways to give back to your community. Find an organization you really believe in, as I have with The Pain Free Project, and see how it can change your own life. You’ll give a little bit of yourself to another, you’ll likely find you receive so much more.
Hi! I'm Angela
Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Integrative Wellness Consultant and Mood-Gut expert.
I want to hear from you:
How do you give back in your life? Please let us know! Leave a comment below.