From releasing endorphins to psychological benefits, altruism can be really good for you indeed
Altruism (also called the ethic of altruism, moralistic altruism, and ethical altruism) is an ethical doctrine that holds that the moral value of an individual’s actions depend solely on the impact on other individuals, regardless of the consequences on the individual itself. James Fieser states the altruist dictum as: “An action is morally right if the consequences of that action are more favourable than unfavourable to everyone except the agent.” Auguste Comte’s version of altruism calls for living for the sake of others. One who holds to either of these ethics is known as an “altruist.”
Altruism is most commonly thought of as a selfless act that benefits the recipient. However, the science behind good deeds suggests that altruism isn’t entirely selfless. In fact, some research suggests that helpers may gain more from their altruistic acts than recipients.
The word “altruism” (French, altruisme, from autrui: “other people”, derived from Latin alter: “other”) was coined by Auguste Comte, the French founder of positivism, in order to describe the ethical doctrine he supported. He believed that individuals had a moral obligationto renounce self-interest and live for others. Comte says, in his Catéchisme Positiviste.
Here are just a few of the ways that altruism can improve your attitude and make you healthier, happier, and less stressed:
• Releases endorphins - the positive energy that you feel from doing a good deed can act on your body in much the same way that exercise does, releasing endorphins that make you feel good naturally. That’s why the “rush” that good deed-doers sometimes experience after performing an altruistic act is referred to as the “helper’s high.”
• Feeling of satisfaction - just because you’re being altruistic doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t feel good about it. You’re making a difference in someone else’s life and that should make you feel good. There is no reason to try to suppress that feeling or feel guilty about it. Think of it as a perk.
• Helps you feel more grateful for what you have - it’s not unusual for people to experience a “grass is greener” feeling from time to time. However, because good deeds are often done for those who are going through a difficult time, the experience can serve to remind helpers that their own lives are actually pretty good.
• Distracts you from your own problems - focusing on someone else can actually pull you away from your own self-preoccupation and your own problems.
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