By Jaimi Ellison, Owner/CORE Pro-Elite Trainer – Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab
Giving helps others, whether we are giving time, emotional support, or actual tangible gifts. Research has shown that giving is also good for the giver in addition to the recipient.
In Fact! Giving can boost both physical and mental health. Here are a few ways:
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased self-esteem
- Less depression
- Lower stress levels
- Longer life
- Greater happiness
In 2006 a study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology found that people who gave social support to others had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, biologically, giving can create a “warm glow,” activating regions in the brain associated with pleasure, connection with other people and trust.
In a 2006 study, researchers from the National Institutes of Health studied the functional MRIs of subjects who gave to various charities. They found that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward center in the brain, releasing endorphins and creating what is known as the “helper’s high.” And like other highs, this one is addictive, too.
People have said the most important lessons we learn, we learn in kindergarten but sometimes a reminder is necessary. Remember, “sharing is caring.” This Christmas, relish in the spirit of sharing the love and gifts to those you care about and feel good about it!