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6 Ways to Feel Happier, Be Healthier

How a positive attitude really can make a difference

Helping others enriches their sense of purpose in life.

Helping others just two hours a week can help you sleep better, improve your immune system. — Nadav Kaner/Gallery Stock

5. Help Yourself by Helping Others

Volunteers who devote time to community organizations or who informally help out friends, relatives and neighbors report greater happiness and better health than those who don't.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, men and women who volunteer report greater life satisfaction and better physical health than non-volunteers. Adults over age 70 who volunteered 100 hours of their time a year reported less of a decline in health and lower levels of depression than non-volunteers.

"Older adults are pleased to hear that volunteering benefits their health and contributes to their happiness, but that's a byproduct of being a volunteer," says Stephen Post, professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University in New York and author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping. "Doing for others is the key reward."

To tap into this source of well-being, log on to createthegood.org and type in your town or ZIP code.

Next: Happiness Tip No. 6: Move, slowly. >>

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