With the giving season upon us (and all the stress and Christmas rush that oftentimes comes with it), it’s nice to know that our generosity is actually beneficial for us. Whether it is charity, helping out by volunteering or simply giving gifts, selfless acts can make you healthier.
Psst.ph shares 5 reasons how giving others may help you live longer, healthier life.
Giving May Help You Live Longer
It might not have any connection at all. But when you think about it, being involved in giving activities seems to give people a longer life. According to a research done in the U.S., people who give time by volunteering have lower mortality rates than those who do not. “We now have evidence that there is a causal relationship between participating in one’s community and (good) health,” says Dr. Stephen Post, a professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University in New York.
Giving Makes You Happier
It is often said that it is always better to give than to receive. Studies show that people who give tend to have lower rates of depression and higher rates of self-reported happiness. People are more likely to feel what’s sometimes called a helper’s high when they contribute to the lives of people around them. In fact, one study from Harvard shows, that people who were suffering from multiple sclerosis were trained to make compassionate calls to other people suffering from the disease. The callers showed lower depression rates after a period of six weeks.
Giving May Protect You from Heart Disease
The same review done in the U.S. with the highest rates of volunteerism also had the lowest rates of heart disease. On the other hand, fewer volunteers reported more people with heart problems. Volunteerism was strongly correlated with low-levels of heart diseases.
Giving May Help Protect You from Addiction
Giving is really important to the recovery process. The Alcoholics Anonymous is an example of how giving can help people overcome addictive behaviour. People who fulfill the twelfth step of their program, which is to help other people with alcoholism, have about 40 percent recovery rate after a year. People who don’t do that have about 22 percent recovery rate.
Giving Makes You Feel Great
People who make an emotional attachment to the person receiving their gift tend to experience the greatest health benefits. There is an evidence which indicates that volunteering generates as much in the way of health benefits as diet and physical activity. However, any kind will certainly boost your wellness. Whether people are engaged formally in volunteer activities or just reporting generally high levels of giving in relationships, it really does not make any difference.
Studies prove that even writing a cheque can cause your body to react on a positive way. There’s a U.S. study which found people who anonymously gave donations of money to the charities of their choice and they had a feel-good reactions in their brains, similar to the ones people experience when they receive monetary rewards.