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Helping Others Can Reduce the Impact of Stress, says Study

15/12/2015

Helping Others Can Reduce the Impact of Stress, says StudyWe will all encounter stress at some time in our lives and the natural tendency for many people is to reach out to friends and family for help during those times. However, it turns out that when life gets a bit too much for us, we’d be better off lending a helping hand than reaching out for help.

That’s because a new study has shown that helping other people can reduce the impact that stress has on our lives, with something as simple as holding a door open for someone else holding the potential to give your mood a boost.

Dr Emily Ansell, of the Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut who led the research, said:

“Our research shows that when we help others we can also help ourselves.

“The holiday season can be a very stressful time, so think about giving directions, asking someone if they need help, or holding that elevator door over the next month. It may end up helping you feel just a little bit better.”

For the research, 77 adults aged between 18 and 44 were asked to conduct daily assessments over a 14-day period and list any stressful events they encountered. Alongside this daily assessment the study group was asked to rate their mental health for that particular day, including any emotions they had felt and any helpful tasks they had performed.

The results, which were published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, revealed that helping other people boosted the study participant’s daily wellbeing. And the more times the participant helped someone else, the better they felt.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed, why not try giving someone a helping hand. It might just make you feel better.

 

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