Remember the warm feeling you get whenever you give something to another person? That’s just your body’s way of saying that giving is good for your health. In fact, a study shows that giving not only produces good mood but also heals your health — your heart to be more exact.
Giving is Good for the Heart
The study on how giving and volunteering was put into text in a revolutionary book entitled Why Good Things Happen to Good People by Stephen G. Post, professor of preventive medicine and the director and founder of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University.
He noted that if you lend a helping hand in your teens, you will reap health benefits 60 or 70 years later. In addition, generous behavior is closely associated with reduced risk of illness and mortality and lower rates of depression. Whether you’re donating a car to charity or simply dedicating precious time to other people, you’re doing a lot of good to your heart.
The Warm Glow Effect
Another study backed Post’s claim regarding the link between giving and health. The 2013 Carnegie Mellon University study published in Psychology and Aging revealed that when people aged 50 and over volunteered, they did not tend to have high blood pressure or its complications, compared to those who don’t volunteer.
In addition, neuroscientist Jorge Moll in National Institutes of Health associated giving to that area of the brain that triggers the “warm glow effect”, usually associated with pleasure and trust.
Now, it seems there are more benefits to making donations than just getting a tax-break after all.
These studies may redefine the rationale of giving donations. From merely a means to get tax benefits or removing clutter at home, giving now becomes a good way to improve your health, and your heart to be exact. Even people who have existing heart problems may also benefit from these findings.
So if you feel that your heart needs a break, the answer could be reaching out and giving others a break too.