As a Registered Nurse I began to search for scientific proof of what actually happens when we pay it forward… if in fact it does.
Have You Ever Wondered Why You Feel So Good When You Pay It Forward?
If paying it forward means we give without expecting anything in return why do we feel so good about it afterwards? I know I always feel better physically, mentally and spiritually after I have done something for another.
As a Registered Nurse I began to search for scientific proof of what actually happens… if in fact it does.
Doing good deeds does have health benefits both physical and mental. Here’s what I found:
* The research shows that when we do these good deeds our life span increases greatly and we become happier and healthier. It also shows that we are more successful in relationships.
* Physically when we do a good deed our body releases endorphins. These are the natural painkillers we have. When we release endorphins we get a powerful blast of elation and pleasure. This is followed by a lengthy phase of healthy emotional happiness.
* We get a greater health benefit because we increase our immune system, which helps us fight off disease.
* This in turn decreases the strength of physical pain.
* It drops our stress levels. That means a reduction in depression, hostility and isolation, which in turn can help us conquer things like ulcers, addictions and asthma.
* The brain chemical oxytocin is released thus reducing stress, increasing bonding with others and having more trust.
* Oxytocin lowers our blood pressure and has an overall calming effect.
* Good deeds increase our feelings of happiness and give us a boost of energy.
* It gives us the ability to recover quickly from setbacks and decreases the damaging feeling of isolation.
* A neat one is that the sense of happiness will return whenever we think of the good deed(s) we have done.
* When you give to others you also gain better personal abilities and have more enjoyment in life.
Our world is changing and changing quickly. Studies are showing the future of our world favours inhabitants who show generosity, caring and compassion. Paying it forward is a whole different kind of experience. These acts of kindness don’t need to be big. Try it out. Smile at that person you see who is unhappy. Encourage rather than discourage someone. Say, “I love you,” to that special person. Volunteer somewhere. The ideas are endless. Give to others in whatever way you can. Give from the heart and not from a sense of duty. Give expecting nothing in return. Become part of paying it forward. You’ll be surprised at the outcome.
Copyright c Llyn Wren RN 2008