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A Kind Heart is a Healthy Heart

I finally got this month’s Scientific American Mind and am happy to tell you it is chock-full of “happy” articles. So here is the first one….Kind Hearts are Healthier.

Psychologists at the University of British Columbia asked 106 high school students to take part in a volunteering study. Half the students spent an hour every week for 10 weeks helping elementary students with homework, sports or club activities. The other half did not participate.

The results indicated the students who volunteered had lower levels of cholesterol and inflammation after the study. Those who did not volunteer showed no such improvements.

One of the psychologists hypothesizes that “keeping others motivated could improve your own motivation for healthy behaviors.” It’s an interesting thought.

Don’t all of us feel better psychologically and physically when we are engaged in activities? Maybe it doesn’t matter what kind of activity it is. Maybe all that is needed is our feeling that we are energized and we can get that kind of feeling from helping others or just putting ourselves out there with other people. However, this study does open a lot of questions regarding our general health based on our activities even at a young age.