Happy Giving Tuesday!
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” — Chinese proverb
“Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate.” — Dacher Keltner, founding director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center
- Greater happiness and satisfaction
- Lower blood pressure and stress levels
- Increased self-esteem and less depression
- Longer life
Give Gifts, Be Happy!
As a kid, what were your favorite gifts you gave to your Mom, Dad, siblings and friends? Do you recall how excited you were to be giving them? Do you remember how you felt when they opened them and were delighted?
Pause here. Take a moment and reflect on how your body feels right now while thinking about the gifts you have given.
Similarly, when you volunteer for a worthy cause, how do you feel afterwards? Do you feel the same positive energy?
In studies of the functional MRI‘s of subjects who gave to various charities, scientists discovered that the action of giving stimulates the reward center in the brain — releasing endorphins and creating a “warm glow”, also known as the “helper’s high.”
During gift-giving behaviors, your brain secretes feel-good, mood-altering, compassion and bonding chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These benefit your mental and physical health, increasing your healthspan and longevity.
So which charities would you like to support? What causes are especially meaningful for you? How much time and money you are willing to contribute to them? So please go ahead and give generously. You will enjoy the surprising health rewards of giving back to those in need!
Your Reward for Reading
Thanks for reading this article. If you would like to support Keep.Health’s favorite charity, please consider The LEAH Project which aims to diversify the STEM workforce by engaging youth of color in dynamic STEM, college readiness, and workforce development programming that empowers them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. You can donate here.