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3 Amazing Spiritual Benefits of Serving Others
When the Bible said (and here we’re merely paraphrasing) “serve others,” the more cynical might have asked: “What’s in it for me?” Well, apparently, beyond religious tenets on altruism, there are indeed physical and spiritual benefits of serving others, and these benefits can be measured. And the most important of such benefits are the following.
1. Deeper happiness
When you give something to others—be it in the form of food, clothing, shelter, or any other good deed—happiness rebounds like a boomerang that strikes you straight in the heart. And this is not based on sheer belief. In fact, in a University of British Columbia study involving toddlers, the result showed that young children were found to be much happier giving than receiving. Take note that the study involved unprejudiced subjects, which means they have not been conditioned in anyway and whatever they may have felt arose from a true place. Likewise, regardless of age or actual personal circumstance, serving others allows you to reap one important return: that unshakeable good feeling. You may notice that you’re smiling after a good deed, and because you’ve received positive feedback, you’ll work to give more, and so on and so forth.
2. Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
One of the spiritual benefits of serving others is how your good deed improves your own self-esteem. It works this way: when you help someone, the recipient of your good deed is so grateful, and this positive feedback can give you a deep sense of pride. It will feel like a tremendous accomplishment, especially if what you do for others gets passed around by word of mouth and thereby further strengthens your reputation. The positive feedback will lead you into a full appreciation of your abilities and will, therefore, improve your self-confidence.
3. Better stress management
Many other studies indicate that if you want to lead a less stressful life, help others. Stress relief is, in fact, one of the most needed spiritual benefits of serving others, especially in the context of our modern highly stressful lifestyles. We have discussed this in other articles, but it’s worth mentioning again: serving others takes your mind and worries away as you are compelled to care for the welfare of another person. This establishment of a deep interpersonal connection with others, certain studies have found, has been crucial in helping people find relief from stress.
Imagine a child with an injury on his knee—the more he stares at his wound, the more painful it feels, the more he ends up regarding his situation as a cesspool of misery. But imagine that same child, instead of spending the entire day pondering his own wound, sets out to attend to other kids’ wounds. He ends up so busy taking care of others that he forgets about his own injury and his own pain, and he feels really good about nursing away the pain of others. This is just an illustration of the powerful spiritual benefits of serving others.
And of course, to further enhance the aforementioned positive spiritual benefits of helping others, you should also engage in regular meditation. Meditate on your accomplishments, daily if possible, and you’ll gain better wisdom and a deep sense of well-being and inner peace, which all the more enhance all the other aforementioned benefits. Meditation benefits not only the human mind, but also all other aspects of our humanity. Meditation is also known—thanks to the results of several studies—to increase the rate of production of our body’s “feel-good” hormones. That’s why after a good meditation session, you feel refreshed, energized, and ready to take on more challenges and do more good deeds.