I'm sure you're familiar with the old saying that
"it is better to give than to receive."
This sounds good, but it actually turns out to be true.
By giving – of your time, help, or money – you can
improve your own happiness level and even your health.
As a matter of fact, giving can be even better for the
giver than the receiver.
I found this out reading an article about
Dr. Stephen Post, who heads the Institute of Research
on Unlimited Love at Case Western Reserve University.
There he sponsors scientific studies on how doing good
for others can help people lead healthier, happier,
and even longer lives.
But his interest in the subject started when he
was a young boy growing up in Long Island, New York.
Whenever he would get restless or feel down in the dumps,
his mother would say, "Well, Stevie, why don't you go out
and help somebody?" So he would look around for something
to do for someone, like helping a neighbor with a yard chore.
And he discovered that helping others really did make him
feel better and was rewarding. And that childhood lesson
led him to his adult vocation.
Since then, many studies have shown the physical and
emotional benefits of giving. There's even a kind of
"helper's high" that shows up on MRI brain scans when
people donate their time or help to others. In one case,
when former heart patients were asked to visit current patients,
just to listen and be supportive, those former patients had
better health afterwards.
Another study found that seniors who gave their time to
various causes tended to live longer. And a study done with
high school students who were in a "service learning" program,
where they were required to volunteer, showed their grades
and moods actually improved.
So,why not give a little – and you'll get a lot.
Until next week,