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The Phenomenon of Helper’s High

Life is a series of ups and downs. The ebb and flow are a continuous motion that affects our mental and physical state. Anxiety and stress play a huge role in our mental and physical well-being.  Unchecked it can lead to serious ailments including high blood pressure, heart disease, daily aches and pains, lack of sleep, stomach issues and more.

This isn’t such good news, until you hear that there is a way to combat anxiety and stress that has a double impact–it helps you and your community.

“Helper’s High” is a phenomenon researchers have coined to explain the positive emotions following service to others by donating money or volunteering.  Research from the National Institute of Health found that when individuals donate money, for example, the brain’s mesolimbic system (the reward part of the brain) responds and it releases “feel good” neurotransmitters such as oxytocin (a hormone linked to reducing stress and anxiety; a feel good hormone) and vasopressin (known to regulate blood pressure).

More than a third of Americans experience symptoms of anxiety or depression.  In this mental state it may seem counterintuitive to sign up and volunteer. However, people who make that effort to volunteer, experience a boost in their mental health. Studies show that even after volunteering, the thoughts related to the activity of volunteering have residual positive effects.

The news gets even better. WEBMD sited researchers who analyzed data from 40 published papers and found evidence that volunteers had a 20 percent lower risk of death than non-volunteers as well as lower levels of depression and increased life satisfaction.  In other words, volunteering with SGV Habitat can lead to a happier life.

The simple act of volunteering or donating money to a good cause has an impact on your happiness and health.  It can move you, and your community forward in a positive direction.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace.”

At SGV Habitat, you don’t need to know construction. No experience is necessary. You just need to sign-up and let our passionate staff guide you along the way.

Volunteer opportunities on our construction sites, at our ReStore retail locations, at events, and in our Monrovia office are available.

To learn more about volunteering please visit

Questions about volunteering can be directed to Tywanna Hill at 626-709-3265 or contact her at


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