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The Power Of A Good Deed

Updated on November 8, 2014

It is so easy to be caught up in the routines of life, and often we become bored, bitter and depressed, though may not know it. The things we were once passionate about have faded to the background and while you hear a word which is linked to that passion, it only sparks interest somewhere in the suffocating darkness of reason and necessity.

Designing that outfit becomes swallowed with, "When I have time", "After I work my way up in my job and can spare the time off", "When I have the money" and so on. This is one of the curses of being an adult.

We forget that we are not alone, we forget our fellow member of society, and become focused on what it is we need to get done for our own survival.

But what if that wasn't the way? What if every one looked after one another, simply for the sake of it?

What Good Is A Good Deed?

Studies have shown that by doing good for others, it can benefit your health in return.

Everyone experiences stress. We accept it as a part of life. However, stress has long term effects on us, especially since it doesn't just get turned off as easily as it was turned on.

A research group from Cornell University followed 437 women for 30 years with different lives entirely, many with multiple children, some with none, and so on. Of these women, 36% volunteered their time toward something, while 52% did not. The latter group were found to experience some manner of a major illness, while the former group did not. Part of the reason that this may be is that volunteering forces exercise, which released endorphins. It also allows the volunteer to feel useful and needed and provides opportunities to learn a new skill. All of these help to battle depression and stress.

Dr Greg Fricchion, a studier of altruism at Massachusetts General Hospital and psychiatrist states that "We are born to find social solutions for our problems", meaning that we are born to help others, and by helping others are able to help ourselves. He says that by doing good for others we are able to feel a sense of security within our community, and thus feel securer within ourselves.

"When researchers sampled the saliva of Harvard students watching a videotape of Mother
Theresa,t hey found evidence of temporary spikes in immunity-boosting chemicals.W omen
considered good neighbors in their community have been found to have higher levels of
oxytocin, a hormone linked to a feeling of well-being - although scientists have not established
which comes first, the feel-good hormone, or the good deeds," states Erin Anderssen in his article for the Global Mail.

Studies have also shown in MRI scans that donating money, or other good deeds release a dopamine in the brain, creating a euphoria, the same reaction the brain has while eating or having sex. This dopamine-euphoria is also capable of relieving stress in that it lowers blood pressure, and generally lowers stress hormones such as adrenalin.

A famous study which had people watching a movie showing Mother Teresa at work, then taking samples of saliva, showed that immune-boosting hormones and chemicals within the body spiked. This was just thinking about doing a good deed, at witnessing it.

Good Deeds Day

You shouldn't have to wait for a specific day to focus on good deeds. However, if it helps, April 6th is National Good Deeds Day
You shouldn't have to wait for a specific day to focus on good deeds. However, if it helps, April 6th is National Good Deeds Day | Source

Which One?

Which of Theses Deeds Do You See Yourself Doing?

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10 Good Deeds

Easy Good Deeds

  1. Holding the door open for someone. This can be any one, not just the person who is about to enter before or after you. You could be at a restaurant and see some one struggling with the door due to their disability, or some one with far too many wild children and just not enough hands. Stopping what you are doing simply to help their entrance or exit can be a kind gesture. It helps you to become more aware of what is going on in your surroundings if you begin looking for these opportunities. What's more, it can offer perspective into your own life, the things you may take for granted such as the ability to open a door without or with little trouble.
  2. War on Meter Maids. This isn't against the meter maids personally. However, a parking ticket will certainly dampen some one's day. If you have the change, and you see that meter is up, give that person a little more time, and save them a few dollars on a parking ticket.
  3. Donate Money. Not every one has enough money to spare to charities. But all charities appreciate what they can get. Even if you only have a dollar or so to donate, it will brighten your world, especially if it is somewhere you have specifically chosen because you have always wanted to give to there, and you finally have that opportunity. For example, Jill has always worked minimum wage, just enough to feed herself and make bills happen. She is on food stamps and delights in free piles on the side of the road. But she has always been so grateful for the services provided by Planned Parenthood, especially since she can't afford any services anywhere else, and they provide the Take Charge program, which gives her free annual exams. She has always wanted to do something for them, since she understands the importance this place has in her world and in the worlds of many other women. One day she finds she has an extra five dollars, and she marches right on over to Planned Parenthood and donates it. That was only five dollars, but it was enough to make her feel like she was giving back to a service which has helped her out, and she believes strongly in. For some it might be a church, a soup kitchen, an animal shelter, and so on. Give where you can.
  4. Donate Time. Every one gets wrapped up in their own lives, which is perfectly acceptable. Our own survival is demanding, and it is alright to focus on your own needs and necessities. It is easy to fall into the stress of not having any time to do the things you want to do, or everything you need t do while still keeping a healthy mind and body. This is exactly why donating time is so much more of a gift than giving money. Volunteering for a school fund raiser, an animal shelter, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, and so on, can make all the difference in someone's life. And when you are doing it for the right reasons and not for a status within society, it can be beautifully rewarding.
  5. Organize or Participate in a Litter Pick-Up. We live in a world of messy people. We have enough trouble trying to keep our houses clean, never mind what lies beyond! However, this world isn't just our own. It belongs to the neighbors, the elderly, the children, the business folk, the religious folk, the homeless folk, the plants, the squirrels, the birds, the deer, the coyotes, the frogs, the spiders, the butterflies - this world does not just belong to us. Organizing a litter pick-up, or being a part of one can help make the places we love more beautiful and clean, for those around us. It gives us the opportunity to connect within our community as well as get fresh air and exercise.
  6. Pay It Forward. If you have five or ten dollars, or even just fifty cents, you can go into your favorite coffee shop, bakery, convenience store, or grocery store and give them what you have, and say it is to go toward the next customer(s) bill until it runs out. This is an antonymous way of giving to your community, and hopefully inspiring the person who was lucky enough to be on the receiving end to do the same for someone else, somewhere else.
  7. Planting a Seed. The world is a beautiful place, and we can help to make more beauty in it simply by spreading seeds. This can be planting a tree, or buying a packet of seeds and sprinkling them all along your walk to work or down your favorite trail. Making the world more beautiful for others will also make it more beautiful to you, and can give you a sense of pride that you helped bring that joy to your community. On a larger scale, you can organize an environmental project, and find where you can get many people to plant many trees, or volunteer to plant flowers at forgotten grave sites.
  8. Donating warm clothes and Blankets. We work hard for our warm things. But what about people who just can't work, and the winter months are tough on them? We all have something that we don't wear any more, that we hold onto for the sake of holding on to. But does it do any good just sitting in the closet? Why not pass it along to someone who might be in need of it? Likewise, you could make blankets, and warm clothes for those in need. Organizing a quilting circle, or knitting circle with the purpose of creating hats and gloves and scarves and blankets for the needy can once again enhance your sense of community, and would be doing more than just donating something warm, it would be creating something with your time and resources.
  9. Be an animal foster home. Many animals are homeless and need love and support. However, sitting in an animal shelter or pound isn't going to give them the tools they need to be successful at loving and existing in their own way. An animal foster home can be a good way for an animal to go through its transition from homelessness to having a home while still being loved and looked after individually. Animals can give to you just as much as you can give to them. They can give you a sense of being needed, love, compassion, and the knowledge that you are making a difference. Many studies have shown that animals can be a benefit of mental and physiological health, especially in the elderly.
  10. Pay A Compliment. Often times, when people are having an off day, a simple compliment from a stranger can lift them up pretty high. Sometimes it is hard to talk to strangers and simply say, "Your hair is beautiful!" or "I like your shoes," or even just "I hope your day goes really well for you sir." We have this idea in society that we must stick to ourselves, but reaching out to a stranger can help remind us that we are not alone in the world, that there are others which share our reality.

What Has This Changed?

Have you been swayed to do more good deeds?

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