At The Midnight Mission, we’ve been helping to provide the support and resources that unhoused people in the LA area need to get back on their feet for more than 100 years. During that time, we’ve seen firsthand that the act of giving back is a deeply rewarding one – but it turns out that science has something to say on the subject, as well. Research shows that helping others reliably makes us happier, and in fact, it may make us healthier and help us live longer, as well.
The Science of Helper’s High
You may have heard of a Runner’s High: a state of euphoria that some athletes experience due to endorphins released by running or exercising. But exercise isn’t the only activity that releases endorphins. Brain science shows us that our brains release endorphins when we help others, as well, which leads to a similar phenomenon called a Helper’s High: a literal state of euphoria caused by doing charitable deeds, similar to a mild version of a morphine high.
But the benefits of giving back go even farther. There’s a recent but growing body of research on telomeres, which form the end-caps to our genes. Strong, healthy telomeres are important to a wide range of health outcomes, and shortened end caps can lead to lower quality of life and earlier death. Stress and anxiety, over the long-term, can both shorten telomeres and lead to an increased likelihood of early death. Because giving back and helping others releases endorphins that demolish stress, one could say that helping others can improve both the length and quality of life: so by helping others, you’re literally helping yourself, as well.
Help Others & Volunteer at Our LA Homeless Shelter
Helping others can help you be happier, stay healthier, and live longer, and if you’re looking for a great way to give back, you can’t go wrong by helping our unhoused community here in Los Angeles. At The Midnight Mission, we offer the resources, support, and care that people experiencing homelessness need to get back on their feet and build a new life – but we need your help to keep doing it. Feel the power of giving back to your community by donating to The Midnight Mission or volunteering with us today!