We don’t know about you, but we love a great feel-good vibe here at Melt. (And we know our customers do too – it’s one of the many reasons our luxury scented candles like Joy and Dance sell so well!) Now, we all know that when we help other people, it makes us feel better. However, many people under-appreciate just how powerful this effect is. Helping other people can provide some real tangible health benefits to you.
There are a growing number of studies demonstrating pretty conclusively that putting other people’s wellbeing before your own isn’t purely about altruism. When we do things for other people, the reward centres of our brain are stimulated.
This leads to a release of endorphins, your body’s natural pleasure chemicals. (More on those in just a moment.) Just as those who exercise enough will induce a runner’s high, helping other people can induce a “helper’s high”. It’s subtle but noticeable, and it can be just what you need to put a brightener on everyone’s day – including yours!
You can understand why providing help to someone you live with or have to work in close proximity to might lead to your blood pressure reducing. However, helping other people, even if they are strangers who you have never met before, can also lead to a measurable reduction in blood pressure. Not only this, but studies have also shown that in the long-term, people who help others can expect to have better overall heart health.
What is surprising is not so much that these benefits are present, but just how powerful they can be. For example, one study demonstrated that over a six-week period, those who spent money on other people were able to reap similar health benefits to those that focused on improving their diet and exercise during that time.
When you help other people, the positive feedback that you get is due to a variety of different neurotransmitters, but arguably the most important of these are endorphins. Endorphins are endogenous morphine – that’s right, your body uses morphine as part of your mood regulation.
As well as being important feel-good chemicals, endorphins bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and can induce strong feelings of calm and contentedness in high enough concentrations. Endorphins are also your body’s natural painkiller. It is hard to overstate just how good endorphins are at killing pain. This is why medical morphine and related drugs are such powerful painkillers in humans.
Instead of waiting for an opportunity to help someone else, be proactive and pre-empt their needs with a thoughtful gift. For example, there are a number of scents that have been shown to induce the release of endorphins in the same way that positive interactions with other people do. Our Angel and Love candles contain vanilla and rose oil respectively, and both of these compounds have been shown to release endorphins. So that wonderful feeling you get when you light them isn’t just your own emotions – it’s officially science!
They’re just a couple of the scented candles we stock here at Melt – you’ve got plenty more to choose from besides. You can take your pick from the options available right here on our site, or take a trip to our little shop on the farm in the heart of the Ribble Valley – we’re always happy to see you!