Want to extend your own life? Focus on serving others. Increasingly, studies show that volunteering is good for our bodies as well as our souls. Volunteering regularly, according to a Carnegie Mellon study of 1,000 adults over 50, . . .

  • Cut the risk of high blood pressure by 40 percent
  • Lowered overall mortality risk by 47 percent
  • Bolstered psychological wellbeing and likely lowered depression and anxiety.

Canadian researchers, too, found that in a study of 100 teens, volunteering over a 10-week period led to a drop in cholesterol, body mass index, and inflammation. “The volunteers who reported the greatest increase in energy, altruistic behavior, and mental health were the ones who showed the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health.”

Being engaged in helping others — living for others, as we call it — is also active work. Wear your FitBit to track your steps as you volunteer and see how quickly they add up! And the more you volunteer, the happier you get. The London School of Economics found the odds of being “very happy” rose 7 percent among monthly volunteers and 12 percent among those who volunteered twice a month.

Serving is what we believe we were built to do. Get more closely attuned to the purpose God intends for your life. It can enhance your health, increase your happiness, and extend your life.