Would you like to “up” your game? Be healthier? Have more energy? More love or sizzle in your life?
Do you know what research scientists are finding to be the number one way to improve every area of your life?
In Yoga we call that Seva, selfless service, and one of the most dedicated humanitarians I know, the highest example of Seva in action, is Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, spiritual head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. The video below is of a day in the life of this giving-est of persons. Recently, on World Forest Day, we started with Yoga on the banks of the Ganges, and followed it by a great forest clean up in the foothills of the Himalayas. While he regularly visits with Popes, Princes and Prime Ministers, Pujya Swamiji is never too lofty to pitch in and clean up.
“More and more research illustrates the power of altruism,” study researcher Donald Moynihan, a professor in the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the university, said in a statement. “Our findings make a simple but profound point about altruism: Helping others makes us happier. Altruism is not a form of martyrdom, but operates for many as part of a healthy psychological reward system.”
A review of 40 studies on the effect of volunteering on general health and happiness, published in the journal BMC Public Health and reported in the Huffington Post, showed that volunteering not only improves well-being and life satisfaction, but is also linked with decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early. “Since people reporting stronger social relationships have a reduced risk of mortality, the social aspects of volunteering may contribute to the observed survival differences,” the researchers wrote in the review.
From survival to social interactions to general health and happiness, Seva is the best service you can give yourself – and the world.