While it may not always seem like it, most humans have some level of natural altruism. That is, even young children tend to want to help people out sometimes. Self-sacrificial behavior has even been observed in some animal species, such as dolphins and monkeys. Scientifically, it doesn’t necessarily make sense that altruism would be a natural concept. Nevertheless, studies have shown that helping others offers many different benefits for everyone involved. These are three reasons why helping others is important.
Helping Others Builds Community
Humans are naturally social creatures. People desire to be in a community where they feel loved and supported. This is achieved through family connections, friendships, and even local events and programs. Helping others not only helps the receiver feel valued but also tends to lead to positive feelings for the helper. Over time, a pattern of helping others can make a community feel safer and happier, which increases social connectedness. Additionally, seeing other people help out often inspires observers to help as well, leading to a chain reaction throughout the community.
Helping Others Is Good for Mental Health
Altruism activates positive reward signals in people’s brains. Over time, this can have many positive mental effects on the helper. Studies show that helping others regularly correlates with better mental health, higher self-esteem, and even longer life spans. Taking time to volunteer at a local nonprofit from time to time can make a huge difference in people’s outlook on life and their overall well-being.
Helping Others Fulfills Purpose
For people who feel stuck in a job that isn’t fulfilling, volunteering can be a great way to find purpose elsewhere. People who volunteer regularly tend to have a stronger sense of purpose and feel empowered by their work. Volunteering helps many people find more meaning in their lives and be more grateful for what they have.
Clearly, helping other people has many positive benefits. Uniting as a community to help those in need is a crucial part of a thriving society. Helping people makes a community better and has many personal benefits for volunteers. It allows individuals to feel a sense of belonging, improves mental health, and gives the helper a sense of purpose.