It’s a new year, and with it, great opportunity to do something spectacular! Usually, as we pull together our resolutions, it centers on putting the lifestyle changes in place that will make us healthier, wealthier and wise. But numerous studies show that the best way to achieve those goals is to think outside our own little sphere and reach out to others.
When Aristotle called the essence of life “to serve others and do good,” he knew what he was talking about! Volunteering a few hours each week at something you truly care about triggers a “happiness effect,” according to Harvard Health, that makes you feel as good as if you’d received a substantial salary increase. In other words, you’ve won the lottery!
And that is only the beginning!
• Did you know that people who volunteer tend to eat better, exercise more, have lower blood pressure and live longer, according to a 2013 study from the Carnegie Mellon University? It’s great at reducing stress, too, which your doctor of chiropractic can tell you is at the root of an incredible number of physical ailments. Instead of pumping up your cortisol and other stress-hormones, your body is flooding you with the feel-good brain chemicals endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.
• Helping others is good for the mind, too! By the nature of volunteering, you become more socially connected, which is great for fighting off depression and a sense of isolation. You form relationships, sharpen your soft skills and stimulate brain-power. Most of all, it brings fulfillment. You are making the world a better place to live and the immediate feedback that generates in your little corner of it is priceless. And look at the example you are setting for your children and grandchildren. Better yet, find something where you can all work together for a good cause.
• Not feeling up to volunteering? That might be a good reason to check in with your doctor of chiropractic and see if a spinal adjustment’s in order. And the benefits of volunteering probably read like what you’ve been hearing from him all along. Know, too, that volunteering is something many doctors of chiropractic practice themselves, in their communities and in national organizations.