5 Ways Giving Is Good For You Share +

Posted by: coronadosafe 3 years, 2 months ago

By Jill Shuttie and Jason Marsh  

Holiday shopping can be terrifying, yes. But research suggests it’s worth it: New studies attest to the benefits of giving—not just for the recipients but for the givers’ health and happiness, and for the strength of entire communities

Of course, you don’t have to shop to reap the benefits of giving. Research suggests the same benefits come from donating to charities or volunteering your time, like at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. Here are some of the ways that giving is good for you and your community.

  1. Giving makes us feel happy. A National Institutes of Health study found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect.

  2. Giving is good for our health. Researchers suggest that one reason giving may improve physical health and longevity is that it helps decrease stress, which is associated with a variety of health problems. 

  3. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. As researcher John Cacioppo writes in his book Loneliness:  Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, “The more extensive the reciprocal altruism born of social connection . . . the greater the advance toward health, wealth, and happiness.”

  4. Giving evokes gratitude. “When you express your gratitude in words or actions, you not only boost your own positivity but [other people’s] as well,” Barbara Frederickson writes in her book Positivity. “And in the process you reinforce their kindness and strengthen your bond to one another.”

  5. Giving is contagious. When one person behaves generously, it inspires observers to behave generously later, toward different people. In fact, researchers found that altruism could spread by three degrees—from person to person to person to person.

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