Have you ever wondered why Santa HoHOHo's and why he's so happy? He knows the miraculous health benefits of HoHOho-ing 'Helping Others, Helping Out, Helping Overall'. It's a key to happiness for not only oneself but for the community at large. There are great health benefits as well as important community benefits from volunteering and helping others. Christmas is a wonderful time to help yourself
to better heath and happiness simply by helping others in the true spirit of the season - giving without expectation of anything in return. It's a gift that keeps on giving.
There are great physical and psychological health benefits as well as important community benefits from HoHOho-ing? Better heath, happiness, improved well-being and longevity are your incredible gifts when you choose to take on the Christmas spirit of giving and help others and not just at Christmas but all year through. Thomas H Sander from Harvard University said about helping others "Research shows it miraculously improves both your health and the community's." Improvement includes physical and mental health such as lower rates of depression, increased longevity and lower incidence of heart disease. So giving/volunteering literally makes the heart grow stronger. Who would have thought you could help yourself to better heath and happiness by helping others!
Volunteering has the ability to produce significant health benefits particularly for older adults and those who serve 100 hours annually or about two hours a week. One study indicated that doing regular volunteer work, more than any other activity, proved to dramatically increase life expectancy. Taking on the role of Santa Claus or Mrs Claus is a wonderful way to get involved and help your community. Santa America is a non-profit volunteer organization servicing countries around the world 52 weeks of the year. It's a great place to find out how you can help and create a little magic at the same time for you and others.
Volunteering/generosity of spirit can bring about meaningful and even miraculous benefits to both body and mind. Research from the John Hopkins Medical Institution found that you can "...slow the aging process... " while giving back to the community. There was an interesting study done by Harvard psychologist Dr David McClelland who measured students before and after watching a film on Nobel Prize laureate Mother Teresa, for her work helping the homeless. McClelland found that even the simple act of watching a film on 'selfless service' strengthened the immune response in the students. However, Dr Albert Schweitzer aptly said "The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve". Service really is an essential element to becoming truly healthy and happy.
So now we know it's scientifically proven, it's good to be good! With a vast and compelling collection of scientific research on the subject concluding that helping others makes you happier and healthier, we now know that volunteering buffers stress and reduces the risk of disease while building connections, a sense of purpose and life satisfaction. A great read is "Why Good Things Happen to Good People: The Exciting New Research That Proves the Link Between Doing Good and Living a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life." By Professor Stephen Post.
There are many ways to volunteer. Let's together grow healthier and happier communities and at the same time enjoy a better quality of life for all. Volunteering at Christmas is a great way to start and it's the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. So go on, get involved with your community and commit to giving back for your and our collective benefit.
The author Bernadette Dimitrov aka Mrs Claus, world-renowned Australian festive authority, is a passionate inspirational author, speaker, laughter and happiness ambassador. She invites you to discover more fun and inspirational Christmas & happiness insights at her website and in her books at http://www.HoHoHoChristmas.com