- A study conducted by York University last year asked people to behave helpfully to another person for a few minutes a day. After six months, participants reported a higher sense of self esteem and happiness.
- In general, people who make a habit of helping others report better health and seniors who do volunteer work live longer.
Just a coincidence, you say? Maybe those who are likely to help others are in better health to begin with? Well, that’s possible. I choose to think that God made us to serve others, and when we do that we become closer to Him and to His original perfect plan for humankind.
About seven months ago, I started attending a “Prevent Diabetes” class. I don’t really like to exercise, but one of the goals was to do some sort of moderate physical activity for 150 minutes a week. I started with doing exercise segments or walking for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Over time, I’ve increased my minutes and I now exercise for about an hour each day. I lost weight and I feel better. Exercise has become a habit. Now I want to do it. It’s become part of my daily routine.
So why not start a helpfulness habit? Like me and my exercise plan, you can start small. Resolve to thank every person who serves you in some way — the waitress, the store clerk, your husband. Send some cheerful notes, cards, or emails. Help a neighbor carry in the groceries. Take some soup to a shut-in. Pretty soon, you’ll find you feel better and serving others has become a normal part of daily life; and guess what, your spiritual life will improve as well.
Be the person God created you to be. Serve others.