There are many reasons why helping others makes us feel good, according to Angela Duckworth, bestselling author and psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, writes Amy Downey for Philadelphia magazine.
For a start, she says it is in our DNA. The desire to help other people is built into human nature, and it is part and parcel of who we are.
It is also a social behavior. Humans desire to be in close and harmonious contact with others. We have a deeply evolved instinct that pushes us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and helping nonprofits provides this feeling.
It also opens new doors. People who volunteer may find that their side activity becomes a central part of their lives in some way.
“I volunteered to teach some kids after school, not thinking much about it,” wrote Duckworth, “but then it became my profession.”
There is also an inherent flexibility in helping others. There is no set number of hours, but instead depends on your availability.
Finally, helping others is a timely activity, especially nowadays when a dose of empathy is much needed.
Read more about the reasons why selflessness feels good in Philadelphia magazine here.