While the act of giving back to others certainly helps make the world a better place, studies show that it also can benefit the giver by enhancing his/ her health, happiness and longevity. For instance, consider these facts:
• Research reveals that the act of helping others can lower blood pressure, combat loneliness and depression, and reduce chronic pain and stress, all of which can help boost the individual’s immune system, fight off disease and promote longer life.
• A recent five-year study from the Science of Generosity Initiative at the University of Notre Dame examined 2,000 Americans and found that those who described themselves as “very happy” volunteered at least 5.8 hours per month.
• According to Psychology Today, the act of giving to others may increase the brain’s levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in motivation and reward, resulting in a virtual ‘helper’s high.’
• Studies show that volunteering can help boost one’s confidence, self-esteem and sense of purpose/meaning in life. It also sets a great example for others and can result in a positive ripple effect of kindness throughout one’s community.
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