Sarah Ford | January 2, 2015

The Science of Giving: Why Being Generous is Good for You

Welcome to 2015!  What New Year’s resolution(s) did you set for yourself this year?  Hopefully ‘Giving’ made it onto your list.  From good health, to increased satisfaction, to stronger marriages and longer lifespan, the act of giving has many benefits.  Below are a few benefits of being generous. View Happify.com’s infographic, “The Science of Giving: Why being generous is good for you” for a full picture of the benefits of giving.

  • When you give to another person, there’s a physiological response.  Your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up as if you were the recipient of the good deed – not the giver.
  • Generosity is contagious.  In fact, a single act of kindness can inspire several more acts of generosity.
  • Generosity is one of the key factors for a happy marriage, according to a 2011 report from the National Marriage Project.
  • Research shows that those who provided practical help to friends, relatives, or neighbors, or gave emotional support to their spouses, had a lower risk of dying over a five-year period than those who didn’t. 
  • Doing volunteer work is associated with high levels of overall life satisfaction.
  • In 120 out of 136 countries, people who donated to charity in the past month reported greater satisfaction with life. (This is true for poor and rich countries alike.) Across the 136 countries studied, donating to charity had a similar impact on happiness levels as doubling household income!

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