Benefits of Caring for Others

“The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” ― Carson McCullers, The Square Root of Wonderful If you have ever felt a warm glow after helping someone, then you already know that caring is a two-way street – both participants benefit from the experience. Helpful people live longer. A Detroit survey asked 423 married couples over the age of 65 if they had helped anyone in the previous year; the researchers found those who said they had helped someone were about half as likely to die within five years as those who did not help. While scientists do not yet understand the connection between helpfulness and good health, they do think helping others causes a rise in oxytocin, the “compassion hormone,” which overrides the stress hormone cortisol. This shift in hormones could explain why helping others makes you feel better. Caring people gain respect in their communities. The public admires and respects doctors, nurses, religious leaders, firefighters, teach


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