Altruistic things to think about this New Year

Make this year a happy one – not just for yourself, but for others too. We look at why altruism is a good way to help keep you positive and healthy.

Around 50 per cent of us make New Year resolutions each January, yet only 12 per cent of us actually stick to them. This year, instead of setting unrealistic expectations on yourself, why not look at ways to change your own, and other people’s lives? 

Feeling altruistic? 

Why not make one of these your New Year resolutions in 2016? 

Put yourself on the organ donation list

In Australia around 1,700 people are waiting for an organ transplant at any time. Why not consider registering to be a donor? Your organs could help save the lives of up to 10 people and improve the lives of many more. To find out more about organ donation visit www.donatelife.gov.au
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Donate blood

The next time you're at your local shopping centre and see the blood donation van, don't walk on by. According to the Red Cross, only one in 30 Australians give blood, but one in three people will need blood in their lifetime. 

Each week, Australia needs more than 27,000 blood donations, and, during holidays in particular, the number of donations is far below the required amount. 
 
Still need convincing? You'll get a treat after you donate blood – a sweet reward! 
 
To find out more about blood donation visit  www.donateblood.com.au
person giving blood

Volunteering

Giving up your time to volunteer and help other has been shown to help volunteers feel less lonely, isolated and depressed. Studies have also found that volunteers may live longer and enjoy lower blood pressure. Check out www.volunteeringaustralia.org or your local community newsletter for volunteering opportunities in your area.  

Join a local sports team

People who participate in club sports, particularly women, are believed to enjoy better mental health and overall life satisfaction than those who exercise at a gym, or walk alone, say researchers. Not only can it help you feel happier and make some new friends, but those who are part of a team are also more likely to stick to their chosen sports, compared to those who exercise alone.

Pay it forward

One study which looked at the health benefits of “paying it forward” (where you pay for the next customer's coffee or car parking, for instance), found that not only did the person who paid it forward feel happier, but the recipient would also be more likely to continue the tradition of generosity.

Raise money for charity

If your exercise habit stopped before it began, why not consider signing up for a charity run. By raising money for your nominated charity, you will have a purpose to your workout, and you'll be less likely to give up when the going gets tough.
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