In the wake of the recent typhoon, many citizens have volunteered to organize relief operations in an effort to reach out to the community. According to Science Daily, however, this doesn’t just benefit the calamity victims. Sharing your time and energy for a good cause may be helping you as much as it's helping other people.

According to researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School, volunteering has been linked to better mental health and a longer lifespan. This was based on previous findings that showed volunteers having a reduced mortality rate of 20 percent as compared with non-volunteers.

While the results have yet to be confirmed by trials, researchers believe that the positive effects of altruistic behavior may be attributed to the fact that it gets people off of their couches and out of their houses more often. Volunteering also seems to do a lot of cognitive good, as those who work for causes have reported lower levels of depression, an increased sense of well-being, and a better outlook in life.

So why not give a hand to those who need it every once in a while? Not only will you be making other people's lives easier, but you'll also be making yours better.

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(Photo by Ed Sentner via Flickr Creative Commons)

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