Doing Good: The Human Connection

With so much value placed in connection through social media and online platforms, it is easy to overlook the power of human connection. It is easy to click a button and give money towards a good cause. It is not as easy to commit time from our work and our personal lives to actually do good for another human being.

Helping others helps you, in the most tremendous way. A study done by the Cleveland clinic found that the reward center in the brain releases endorphins when people help others, creating what is known as the “helper’s high.” In today’s wellness world, offices are seeing the value in taking time and money out of the workday to do things to help employees reduce stress, and get generally healthier. While there is so much benefit to a yoga class, meditation session, or juice day at the office, companies are starting to see the wellness value in volunteering.

According to New York Cares, a nonprofit organization based in New York City that mobilizes New York volunteer services, companies with high levels of employee engagement see more than 19% average annual increase in their operating income. 73% of employees wish their companies would do more to support a social or environmental costs or issue.

This isn’t new news. In 2013, United Health Care put together this sweet infographic:

UNITED HEALTH CARE AND MASHABLE.COM

United Health Care’s infographic shares some amazing stats about how volunteering helps with wellness

Let me be vulnerable for a second. I recently survived a life threatening women’s health situation. And upon recovery, my first class back on the job as a yoga teacher was at a facility in Brownsville, Brooklyn, through Mentoring USA. I taught yoga to children and their mentors. And it healed me. The hugs I got after that class from two children made me feel whole again. I had an epiphany and realized the fragility of time, started my dream business, and reevaluated my life in the most positive way.

It’s easy to send money to a good cause. I’m sure that gives a “helper’s high”, too. However, I challenge you to see the true value in volunteering and helping others: The human connection. The physical benefits of a positive human connection cannot be replaced.

Science can tell us why volunteering and helping others feels so good. It can tell us what happens in our body that makes the act of helping another person make it healthier. But experiencing the emotion of helping another human being is something that needs to be experienced. So be a mentor. Help at a soup kitchen. Walk your neighbor’s dog. You’ll feel so good, and the good will go full circle.

Lauren Coles is the founder of Daisy Wellness at Work, and Ms. Yoga CEO. She actively volunteers with Mentoring USA, and makes helping others her life’s priority.