When you give to others, you can get more than warm fuzzies

During this season of giving, learn about the benefits your charitable acts can have on your health. Whether you donate money or give your time, you can realize real gains when helping others.

Giving helps your physical health

The Cleveland Clinic says studies show that giving can:

  • Lower blood pressure and boost recovery following a heart-related event
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Lessen depression
  • Lower stress levels
  • Live longer

Giving boosts your mental health

According to an infographic from Happify, when you are the giver of a good deed, “you get a boost of feel-good endorphins—the same ones associated with a runner’s high.”

U.S. News & World Report calls this “givers glow,” and explains that giving releases dopamine (endorphins that give a sense of euphoria) and oxytocin (associated with inner peace).

Giving strengthens friendships and communities

The University of California, Berkley’s Greater Good in Action initiative notes that giving promotes a sense of trust and cooperation, which is great for building your community, and your mental and physical health.

Ready to get giving?

Before you give, it’s important to identify the causes or issues that are most important to you. The health benefits of giving make the biggest impact when the gift is meaningful.

Whether you’re the recipient of a gift or are thankful you’re in a position to help others, research shows that people who focus on gratitude realize health benefits, too. Everyone wins!