After a long day at work, James is looking forward to a relaxing day at home. But before that, he has to take a fifteen-minute train to his stop and walk for about ten minutes to his apartment. As James boards the train, he finds an empty seat beside a woman reading a book. He hurriedly heads there and settles himself comfortably on the seat. Before the train can leave, an old gentleman enters the train, hobbling and leaning on his crane. James notices the man, quickly stands, and offers his seat.
James’s action is an example of selflessness. When a person is selfless, they place the concern and needs of others before their own. They show a great degree of willingness to serve and help others. Most religions will teach their believers to aspire to embody this quality. They believe that the soul is enriched by unconditional acts of goodness and service to others.
A new study has found out that being selfless can do wonders a person’s physical health. How did researchers come to this conclusion? They reviewed the health effects of volunteering to help others (e.g., visiting the elderly in nursing homes, teaching kids to read, helping out in soup kitchens, etc.) and found that it can decrease early mortality rates by 22 percent.
Researchers have found that volunteers are less likely to have depression and are more likely to have a sense of life satisfaction and well-being. Their reviews show that volunteering is linked with increased good health. By volunteering, a person has increased social contact, which reduces loneliness. As emotional and mental health are invariably intertwined with physical health, having a sound mind ideally means a sound body.
Volunteering is a prominent example of selflessness. When you volunteer, you give a piece of yourself to help improve the lives of others. Because of this, volunteering becomes a rewarding experience that bolsters your positive emotions and thoughts, and that can go a long way in improving your overall health. While you help others, you are also helping yourself.
Still, it’s important to keep in mind that taking things to the extreme can be detrimental to your health. When you neglect to take care of your other needs, you’ll put yourself at risk and cause undue problems for yourself. So while it’s important to be selfless and look after others, you mustn’t forget to also take care of yourself.