WELLNESS
07/28/2011 08:15 am ET Updated Sep 27, 2011

19 Healthy Reasons To Help Others

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.

PHOTO GALLERY