While many of us feel too stressed and our lives full to bursting already, the idea of being able to help others can seem just a little too much. We would really like to say that we’ll focus on doing good deeds in that spare time we would like to create. Interestingly, evidence shows that helping others is actually beneficial for our own mental health and wellbeing and provides a deep sense of self-worth.
Here we outline just a few of the physical, mental and health benefits of helping others…
1. IT REDUCES STRESS
Doing things for others helps maintain good health.
Positive emotions reduce stress and boost our immune system, and in turn can protect us against disease.
2. IT HELPS GET RID OF NEGATIVE FEELINGS
Negative emotions such as anger, aggression or hostility have a negative impact on our mind and body.
Engaging in random acts of kindness can help decrease these feelings and stabilise our overall health.
3. HELPING OTHERS FEELS GOOD
When you help others, it promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness. These rushes are often followed by longer periods of calm and can eventually lead to better wellbeing.
How the Practice supports our patients
In order for us to help our patients with their wellbeing and to provide the next level of patient care to support our Move Well, Eat Well, Think Well strategy, the Practice moved to Pensthorpe Natural Park in Fakenham (www.pensthorpe.com). We were delighted to be invited to become part of their strategy and commitment to health and wellbeing. In January 2016, we opened the doors of our spacious new Practice in this stunning setting, which is a unique and very special location and we feel privileged to be an independent part of it.
Volunteering is a great way to do something for others and research shows that it benefits people of all ages through increasing feelings of self-esteem, respect, motivation and wellbeing.
Pensthorpe Natural Park, offers the opportunity to become a Volunteer and to get out and surround yourself with nature. Volunteers are key to the success of Pensthorpe Natural Park and their aim is to provide an environment where individuals and groups can take time to learn something new and contribute to the maintenance and development of their beautiful park.
Allan Archer, a Volunteer at Pensthorpe Natural Park has written about his experience and how volunteering has helped his mental health and wellbeing. Click here to read Allan’s experience at Pensthorpe Natural Park.
“After a period of treatment I started to get my depression under control and that’s when I began volunteering. I saw it as an opportunity to reconnect with my hobby – nature” Allan comments.
“Not only has volunteering helped me to get my mental wellbeing back on track but it’s given me an opportunity to do something I love.”
Statistics used in this blog are from the Mental Health Foundation.