Holiday shopping can be a pretty scary experience. However, researchers have confirmed that braving the stores is worthwhile. New studies show that there are benefits to giving for both the givers and receivers. The advantages include enhanced happiness and health and the strengthening of the community.
Dr. Jorge Moll has been researching the science of giving and morality and continues his work with other trusted scientists who have explored the benefits of giving to charitable organizations (http://www.diasdacruz.org.br/tag/dr-jorge-moll-neto/). Moll’s Ph.D. dissertation on moral judgment and sensitivity has also been referred to in the ongoing exploration the brain’s tendency to function better when doing good deeds.
Moll and other psychological professionals also assert that shopping or spending money is not the only way to get the benefits of giving. Researchers have also found that volunteering time to help those who are less fortunate can improve the volunteer’s health as well. Here are more of the ways that giving is good for the community’s health.
Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton conducted a study with his colleagues in 2008 that further proves that giving actually makes us happy. People who gave money to others found that they felt better than they would have if they had kept the money to spend on themselves. This even applied to participants who predicted that they would be happy if they kept the money. The University of California Riverside psychology professor and happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky also saw these same types of results when she asked participants to perform five kind acts a week for six weeks.
There is also proof that good feelings or biological. In a study conducted in 2006, Moll and his fellow professionals at the National Institutes of Health discovered that when people donate to charities, the section of the brain that is activated by social connection, trust or pleasure is activated. Endorphins are also induced in the brain, and this is commonly referred to as the “helper’s high.”
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that giving can also be good for our physical health. Lots of research has been connected to various forms of generosity for improved health, even with people who are elderly or ill. Author Stephen Post, who wrote the book Why Good Things Happen to Good People, says that giving has improved the health of people who are suffering from chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis and HIV. This suggests that giving to others on a consistent basis can improve the condition of the body and mind.