The Fountain of Youth: Giving!

MD Blog Fountain of Youth Nov 2015What if I told you there really is a Fountain of Youth. That there really is a “secret” to living longer – would you believe me and continue reading? Intrigued? I bet you are…

You see, if I told you right away this is about the importance of giving you may not have kept reading. But now that I have your attention I want to tell you that I have read what the researchers have written, seen all the statistics, and wonder the same as you…is it really true?

Do people who give or volunteer really live longer and are they really happier? Why would these random acts of kindness help us to better ourselves?

Maybe it all started when God was trying to tell us something in Psalm 112:5, “Good things will come to those who are willing to lend freely. Good things will come to those who are fair in everything they do.”

All I know is that it feels good to give. Sure, giving back should be an altruistic, selfless notion, but the truth is that giving back is good for both the giver and the recipient. I will now throw in a little study for us as evidence…

Studies have shown that giving is good for the giver, it boosts both mental and physical health. Conditions like high blood pressure and depression are pretty common, but the health benefits associated with giving have a real impact on both. Here are some of the ways volunteering/giving can boost your well-being:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Less depression
  • Lower stress levels
  • Giving stimulates the reward centre in the brain, releasing endorphins and creating the “helper’s high”

If receiving all of these health benefits from volunteering and giving back would help us then why wouldn’t we want to do more? Too busy, not enough time in the day, saving for a rainy day, charity begins in the home. These are all great answers and I’ve used them all. But, the reality is that there are so many worthy places that can use your time, talent and treasures.

I’ll close with a quote I love by George Eliot, “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

Take the time today to lower your stress levels and give back!

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