You know the expression, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” It is one of the golden rules that remind you to try to be kind and help those around you. Did you know this adage has a basis in scientific fact? It turns out being generous to others actually makes changes in your brain that help you feel better.
This article explores the mental and emotional effects of generosity and helping others. How can volunteering or being generous in group therapy help you with your own addiction recovery?
The Science Behind Helping Others
U.S. News & World Report had an interesting article a few years ago on the science behind altruism. There are multiple studies showing that giving generously to others helps you live longer and stay happier.
Simple kindness and generosity actually trigger endorphins in your brain, according to the article, releasing dopamine and oxytocin. These chemicals make you feel more tranquil, serene, and peaceful. The article states:
“Viewing the brain with MRI technology during moments of generosity or selfless behavior has led scientists to uncover that even the thought of giving can engage this ancient response.”
This behavior can even help you live longer; one study followed more than 2,000 participants and determined that those who volunteered for two or more causes had a 63 percent lower mortality rate than the people that did not give back.
It seems that science is pointing in one simple direction: the more you give, the more you get in return. How can this help you if you are taking the journey into Washington State drug rehab?
In This Together in Washington State Drug Rehab
The journey back to health starts with Washington State drug rehab. It is there that you can find a way outside the circle of your own self-absorption with your addiction of choice. This is a challenging time for you, while you deal with the pain, anger, and grief that addiction has caused.
Yet recovery is actually improved as you take the time and energy to support those around you. In fact, a Case Western Reserve study showed that alcoholics that provide community service as part of their treatment were actually able to stay clean and sober for longer than those that did not. The study called these activities the “Helper Therapy Principle” (HTP), and suggested that when “one person with a condition helps another person with a similar condition, they, in turn, help themselves.”
While the science is there to back up these principles, an integrated approach to recovery is always a part of the journey in Washington State drug rehab. Giving back to those around you simply means you are investing in becoming a better and more caring person.
Taking time to be kind both to yourself and the people around you is part of a commitment to long-term quality of life that helps to lead you out of the cycle of abuse and into recovery. To learn more about admissions, contact us now.