When we think of altruism or generous acts of kindness, the tendency is to focus on the benefits to the recipient. It seems somewhat selfish or inconsiderate to think about the benefits to the giver, but this should not be the case at all.
Surprisingly, the benefits of altruism go much further than simply the satisfaction of helping society. Studies have linked random acts of kindness to releasing dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that can give us a feeling of euphoria. This feel-good brain chemical is credited with causing what’s known as a “helper’s high”.
In addition to boosting oxytocin and dopamine, being kind can also increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood.
There is a body of research that supports this. Scientific studies have been done to research how helping others effect the body and the brain. Not only does volunteering immediately effect the brain, but over time continual volunteer experiences have an impact on life span.
Basically, acts of kindness lower stress levels. Lowered levels of stress is good for a body for many reasons. Low stress can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and can improve immunity by raising the levels of antibodies produced.
No matter how you choose to help, it seems that giving back is a win-win.
Source: Realized Worth