According to the book The Paradox of Generosity, it pays in health to be generous.
Authors Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson surveyed 2,000 people over a five-year period during which they tracked 40 different family’s lifestyles. They found that the families who donated more time and money to others experienced better health than those who did not donate.
Research suggests that one of the reasons generosity improves physical health is because it “shift[s] focus to alleviate others’ problems instead of fixating on one’s own.” Here are some of the direct physiological benefits of giving:
Depression leads to many physical symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, pain, and even weight changes. Luckily, even thinking about giving increases happiness. Thinking about helping others releases dopamine and serotonin, the happiness hormones. Christian said, “It gives people more pleasure chemistry in their brain, a sense of reward for having done something good.”
Like depression, stress can make people physically sick. Stress can foster low energy, headaches, upset stomachs, tense muscles, and chest pain. Social psychologist Liz Dunn studied the stress levels of people who either kept their money for themselves or gave money away. She found that the people who kept their money felt more ashamed and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Lower Blood Pressure
A 2006 John Hopkins University and University of Tennessee study revealed that “people who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than participants who didn’t.” Untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, and memory loss.
“A long-term Cornell University found that people who volunteered were not only less anxious than those who did not, but they stayed that way for decades.” Lowered anxiety brings reduced odds for developing several chronic illnesses such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal conditions.
A Longer Life
“Researchers from the University of Buffalo found a link between giving and unselfishness and having a lower risk of early death.” This is likely due to reduced stress levels and increased overall happiness. “Volunteering not only improves well-being and life satisfaction, but it’s also linked with decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early.”
How can TruFusion help you become happier and healthier through giving?
Check out some of our events, offers, and gift ideas to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.
- Join us at our Holiday Vinyasa Charity Workshop on December 18!
- Pick up one of our monthly smoothies. $1 of every purchase goes to a charity of the month! Check out our December smoothie, Mint Condition.
- Give the gift of yoga with:
Happy and healthy giving, TruTribe!