19 Healthy Reasons To Help Others

07/28/2011 08:15 am ET | Updated Sep 27, 2011
  • Robert A. Barnett iVillage.com

By Robert A. Barnett for iVillage.com

If you see someone who is drowning and throw him a rope, he gets a benefit, no question about it. But you might, too. Your body might flood with feel-good chemicals that have a deep evolutionary heritage. You might get a little extra buffer from life’s stresses. Your heart might beat a little healthier. Your immune system might perk up. Your mood might lift.

Do this kind of neighborly thing on a regular basis and, studies suggest, you may live longer. There’s only one caveat: “You have to genuinely care,” says Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University in New York.

Want to get the “giver’s glow?” Read on.