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The Secret Behind Feel Good Jobs: Helping = Happy

by Katie Riggs on August 14, 2016

shutterstock_417280210There was a teller at the Wells Fargo branch where I bank. Every time I visited, she was over-the- top happy. She would smile at me, make small talk, offer a bottle of water, and close by asking if there was any other way she could help me. Being distracted by a million things that day, her happiness made me grumpy.

Later, I thought about how rare it is to meet someone who is truly happy and shares it. I realized that Instead of being grumpy, I, like Wells Fargo, should reward this young lady and her graciousness. The next time I visited the bank, I took the happy teller an orchid and told her how special she made me feel. She almost fell to the floor. “No one’s ever done such a nice thing for me!” she exclaimed. From that day on, we became fast friends.

What’s interesting is that acts of kindness go both ways. The recipient of kindness is happy, but the giver of kindness is happy, too. According to research conducted at Emory University, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed. This phenomenon has actually earned the nickname “helper’s high” among psychologists who study generosity. Some researchers theorize that the sensation is also due to a release of endorphins, those feel-good chemicals associated with runner’s high.

Happiness is the gift that keeps on giving. According to a Harvard University study done in 2007, someone who has received a bit of kindness is elevated, happy and grateful, making them likely to help someone else. Doing things like holding the door open for someone, doing chores for other people, or buying lunch for a friend can lead to a significant increase in people’s positive moods.

What if you had a job that made you feel good? It sure would make going to work a whole lot easier. One of those jobs is being an in-home caregiver for elderly adults confined to their homes and to other adults recovering from surgery or an accident and need help during their recuperation. In-home caregivers perform a wide range to services like prepare light meals, do simple house-keeping, remind their clients to take medications, and run errands. They also do things like play games, enjoy a conversation or watch movies – whatever the client wants.

The “feel good” comes from knowing the client truly needs you and appreciates your help. It’s a wonderful feeling. And you don’t need a college degree or healthcare experience. You just need to be responsible and care about other people.

At Home Preferred is Central Indiana’s trusted provider of in-home services. If you’re interested in exploring our “feel good jobs,” we encourage you to visit our website or contact us. We’d love to meet you.