Study after study proves that one of the main things that make us truly happy and healthy is helping others.
When we’re compassionate and do good deeds, our brains release serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.
In other words, it releases feel-good chemicals that make us more engaged, upbeat, and, ultimately, healthier.
If you’re still on the fence about whether you should volunteer more (or at all) and help your fellow humans and animals, here are the signs you’re at your happiest when helping others.
1) It’s your purpose
For you, helping others isn’t just an occasional thing; it’s a fundamental part of your life. It’s a guiding principle that gives your life meaning and direction.
To put it more bluntly, it’s not what you do; it’s who you are, and you feel the happiest when you’re helping individuals or society as a whole.
That doesn’t mean you have to be in a soup kitchen every weekend and serve food. On the contrary, you could be an activist helping your community thrive, or you could help raise money and awareness for things you feel are important and worthwhile for others.
2) You feel fulfilled
When you lend a hand to someone in need, it’s like finding the missing piece of a puzzle.
Or, staying with puzzles for a moment, you know that awesome feeling you get when you finally complete a challenging puzzle? Well, it’s a lot like that, but even better.
You get a deep, long-lasting sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve made a real, positive difference in someone’s life.
Not many things can compare to that feeling, and that’s a perfect gateway that hooks people into helping fellow humans.
3) You feel connected
One of the things that also makes us come back and help others is that it creates a strong sense of connection to our community or even the world at large.
We’re reminded that we’re all interconnected, and by extending a helping hand, we’re strengthening those bonds.
Not only that, you’re part of a team of like-minded people who love doing the same things you do.
You become a part of a community of other helpers who, more often than not, eat, breathe, and sleep for the cause.
But for me, it’s this following sign that really brings it home.
4) You’re patient
For someone who is mostly impatient with things and people, helping others makes me incredibly calm.
I go into a heightened state of mind where I tolerate other people’s actions and mistakes because I know there’s an underlying cause. A big cause.
Patience is like a superpower when it comes to helping others. You’re not quick to judge or rush through things.
You offer support with calm and understanding, which is incredibly reassuring to those you help.
However, if someone does something to hurt the cause or the ones we’re helping, they’ll still get no pass from me.
5) Time flies for you
When you’re immersed in helping someone, hours can pass in what feels like minutes.
It’s like you blink, and suddenly, a whole bunch of time has vanished. It’s almost as if the world around you fades into the background, and you’re totally wrapped up in doing something meaningful for someone else.
Now compare that to the grind that is your usual type of work. Where time goes by incredibly slowly, and you feel like every hour lasts at least three for you.
But time also flies because helping others is your natural instinct.
6) It’s a natural instinct
Helping others is so ingrained in your personality that it’s not something you have to consciously think about.
It’s like breathing; you do it without even realizing because it’s an integral part of who you are.
Again, it’s like you clicked and found a perfect path to true happiness. Now, if only you could convince more people to join you and see how genuinely fulfilling it is.
7) You prioritize their needs
It’s not that your needs aren’t important, but you often find yourself putting others’ needs before your own.
Their happiness and well-being become a top priority, and you’re more than willing to make sacrifices to ensure they’re okay.
For example, it’s a chilly evening, and you lend your favorite warm jacket to a homeless person you’ve just met because you can’t bear the thought of them being cold.
Or, you had a busy day at work, and you’re exhausted, but your elderly neighbor needs help carrying groceries up the stairs.
Naturally, you put your fatigue aside and lend a hand because you know it’s essential for their well-being.
8) You’re a good listener
Being a good listener isn’t just about sitting there and hearing words. It’s about really getting where someone is coming from.
You’ve got a gift for making people feel totally safe to open up and let it all out. And that feeling, knowing that you’ve helped them get something off their chest, is a warm fuzzy glow inside that just makes you feel good and happy.
9) You’re compassionate
Compassion is like a cozy, well-worn blanket that you can’t resist but wrap around people in tough situations.
When someone you care about is hurting, it’s as if their pain becomes your own, and you can’t just stand by and watch.
You’re driven to do something, anything, to make them feel better, even if it’s just lending a listening ear or sharing a comforting word.
As I already said, you have a natural instinct that kicks in, making you want to ease their suffering and bring a little light into their dark moments.
10) You volunteer willingly
When you volunteer your time, it’s not a chore. On the contrary, it’s a choice you gladly make because you genuinely want to contribute to a cause or help the destitute.
You don’t do it because you have to; you do it because you want to. It’s like choosing to spend your free time doing something that truly matters.
Let’s say you volunteer at a local animal shelter. You could be spending your weekend binge-watching TV shows or going out with friends, but instead, you readily choose to be at the shelter.
It’s not a chore because you genuinely care about those furry friends waiting for their forever homes.
And here’s why it’s also not a chore:
11) Smiles all around
There’s nothing quite like the feeling when you do something for someone, and in return, you get to witness the magic of happiness right in their eyes.
And the beautiful and fantastic thing is, it’s not a one-way street – their happiness becomes your happiness too.
For example, you spend time tutoring a struggling student. When you see their face light up as they grasp a challenging concept, you can’t help but smile too, knowing you’ve made a difference in their education.
It’s a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day, and it reminds you that even the simplest acts of kindness can bring so much brightness into the world.
12) You have a positive energy
Your positivity is like a beacon that attracts those in need of support. Your good vibes are like a magnet, drawing in anyone who could use a little boost.
The thing is, your upbeat attitude isn’t just a personal thing; it’s contagious. When people are around you, they can’t help but feel a bit lighter and more hopeful.
Your enthusiasm and willingness to help out make it feel like the world is a friendlier and more welcoming place.
Think about that for a moment.
13) You find solutions
Problem-solving for others is a challenge you eagerly embrace. When someone you care about is stuck in a tough situation, you don’t just stand there and say, “That’s too bad.”
No way. You roll up your sleeves and dive right into the challenge like a problem-solving machine.
Whether it’s your friend dealing with a car breakdown, your coworker struggling with a tricky project, or your family member facing a personal dilemma, you’re the first to offer a helping hand.
You don’t just listen and nod sympathetically; you find answers, and that makes you extremely happy.
In the end, we all have the same amount of hours in a day. What we decide to do with them is what can make us and others more happy, fulfilled and more satisfied with life.
If your choice is to help others, I salute you. You’re really making a difference, and knowing that makes you happy too.