Improving Our World
At TECx, we believe in being good stewards of and partners with our Community, our Country and our World and that its our responsibility to do our best to improve each of these environments. We encourage our students to adopt a similar philosophy and ask that each of them decide on a specific project or task they want to perform, whether it be volunteering, mentoring or working in some other capacity to improve Austin, the US or a specific area abroad or to address a specific problem, for example traffic, pollution, poverty or similar.
The great news is that in addition to positively impacting the World, research shows that doing good deeds also positively impacts our own mental health and well-being.
Health benefits include:
- Helping others feels good
When you help others, it promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness.
These rushes are often followed by longer periods of calm and can eventually lead to better wellbeing. Helping others improves social support, encourages us to lead a more physically active lifestyle, distracts us from our own problems, allows us to engage in a meaningful activity and improves our self-esteem and competence.
- It brings a sense of belonging and reduces isolation
Being a part of a social network leads to a feeling of belonging. Face-to-face activities such as volunteering at a drop-in centre can help reduce loneliness and isolation.
- It helps to keep things in perspective
Many people don’t realise the impact that a different perspective can have on their outlook on life.
Helping others in need, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, can provide a real sense of perspective and make you realise how lucky you are, enabling you to stop focusing on what you feel you are missing – helping you to achieve a more positive outlook on the things that may be causing you stress.
- It helps make the world a happier place – it’s contagious!
Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place. An act of kindness can improve confidence, control, happiness and optimism.
It can also encourage others to repeat the good deed that they’ve experienced themselves – it contributes to a more positive community.
- The more you do for others, the more you do for yourself
Evidence shows that the benefits of helping others can last long after the act itself by providing a ‘kindness bank’ of memories that can be drawn upon in the future.
- It reduces stress
Doing things for others helps maintain good health.
Positive emotions reduce stress and boost our immune system, and in turn can protect us against disease.
- It helps get rid of negative feelings
Negative emotions such as anger, aggression or hostility have a negative impact on our mind and body.
Engaging in random acts of kindness can help decrease these feelings and stabilise our overall health.
- It can help us live longer
Giving and helping others may increase how long we live.
Studies of older people show that those who give support to others live longer than those who don’t.