Have you ever noticed the abundance of service animals helping their human friends today?
Diabetic alert dogs, nursing home therapy cats, emotional assistance pot-bellied pigs, and even dogs who can sniff out cancer. Whereas dogs used to be the go to animals for the visually impaired, now miniature horses are taking on this role. Our animal friends are pawsitively amazing!
Service animals are great role models to motivate their human friends into doing good deeds. Especially since many of us are not aware of the powerful connection between serving others and our health and wellbeing.
Five Ways Being of Service Serves You
- Increases empathy and compassion: Doesn’t it feel good to give, especially to someone whose needs are greater than your own? When you feel empathy and compassion, the pleasure centers in your brain light up. Sex, laughter, and drugs can create this feeling too but making a meaningful connection to another is a priceless gift for them and you.
- Makes you Happier: when you are feeling emotionally challenged and stuck in your head, go out and help someone else. Engaging with other people or animals in need has been shown to improve our mood, reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. The neurotransmitter dopamine coursing through the body gives you a good dose of the “happiness effect,” a powerful antidote to the blues.
- Increases Confidence: When you give to others you gain a feeling of accomplishment and pride in your abilities. If you are volunteering at an animal shelter walking dogs, you may quickly find yourself promoted as others see your commitment and passion. Nurturing confidence can give you a more positive outlook and sets you up for greater success in life.
- Greater Sense of Purpose: Do you ever wonder what your purpose in life is? I certainly did for many years. But volunteering in shelters gave me a profound connection to other people who shared a similar purpose – a love for cats and dogs and a passion for making their life better. From those days, flourished the idea for writing my new book, Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse.
- Better Physical Health & More Longevity: In a study of 6,300 retired people over 65, those that volunteered had half the risk of dying compared with non-volunteers. Older volunteers tend to be more active, have stronger cognitive skills and are less likely to develop high blood pressure. Better quality of life and a longer life; Does it get any better?
I discovered the powerful connection between my wellbeing and service when I volunteered in animal rescues. I got more active, lost weight, made life-long friends and even brought home a few four-legged friends who became part of my family.
If you find yourself saying; I don’t have time, I don’t know what I’d be good at, I’m too tired; I have three words for you…..Just do it. The world needs you now, more than ever.
Carlyn Montes De Oca L.Ac