Indian peace activist Mahatma Gandhi once quoted “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” This quote represents a life guiding principal for me as I continue to actively seek to affect change, one person and project at a time in my community. Whether through your time, talent, or money, serving others and or giving back is a positive quality that produces positive outcomes not only for the recipient but also to the giver.
Serving others benefits everyone. Dr. Stephen Post, best-selling author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get us Through Hard Times (Jossey-Bass, 2011) suggest a few things you can do in your service to others to achieve personal happiness and health:
- Be Selfless
- Serve others
- Practice Self Care
- Be Kind
Studies indicate that giving back to the community in service to others can boosts your happiness, health, and sense of well-being. Based on my personal experiences, some of the rewarding benefits of giving and serving others have included:
- Increased happiness
- Lower blood pressure and mental clarity
- Sense of purpose and satisfaction
- Social connections and stronger friendships
- Sense of belonging and inner peace
One major key deriving from the health benefits from volunteering and serving others is to make sure you’re serving for the right reasons. A 2012 study in the journal of Health Psychology found that participants who volunteered with some regularity lived longer when their intentions were truly altruistic.
When was the last time you served someone other than yourself or close loved one? If it took you a while to answer, I challenge you to serve someone other than yourself, TODAY! I trust you will find great value and many rewarding benefits in your service others.