A recent study has found that when you help others, the joy of doing so seems to be protective to health and can even lengthen lives.
In a study, researchers analyzed data from 846 participants and their responses from interviews about life-events during the past one year.
They had to mention stressful events such as loss of a job, illness, theft, death of a dear one and also whether they had provided help and assistance to friends or family members.
Researchers tracked participant mortality for five years through monthly state death records. Taking into account factors such as health, age, functioning and other important variables, researchers found a strong connection between willingness to help and stressful events.
"Our conclusion, was helping others reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality. These findings go beyond past analyses to indicate that the health benefits of helping behavior derive specifically from stress-buffering processes, and provide important guidance for understanding why helping behavior specifically may promote health and, potentially, for how social processes in general may influence health," researchers said.