We have decided to surround the Thanksgiving Holiday with a blog post series focused on stewardship and generosity. Last week Charlie kicked off the series and mentioned that generous people experience greater contentment and joy in their lives. Today, I am going to dig a little deeper into the research-based benefits of generosity.
When we genuinely do something nice for someone else, we typically come away from that experience feeling good. I think most people would intuitively recognize that generosity feels good. It just so happens that research studies back up that notion.
Following are five benefits of generosity highlighted in an article by Michael Hyatt.
- Better Health – One study found that generosity lowered blood pressure as well as reducing the risk of dementia, anxiety, and depression. Generosity has also been known to help improve chronic pain management.
- Makes Us Happier – Generosity naturally triggers feel-good chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin.
- Lowers Stress – A study of people hooked to heart monitors found that people who felt they got an advantage in a transaction experienced increased stress levels while the generous person experienced lower stress. Who really got the better deal?
- Improves Relationships – A marital study found that when one spouse acted in a generous fashion toward the other spouse both spouses expressed higher levels of marital satisfaction.
- Extends Our Lives – People in this study who volunteered for two or more causes had a 63 percent lower mortality rate than people who did not volunteer at all during the study period.
It is encouraging to know that generosity provides tangible benefits, in addition to simply fulfilling a desire to give. If you are like me, I usually do not need any help being selfish; that seems to come naturally. So, any additional encouragement to be generous is welcome news.
We can be confident that generosity truly benefits both the recipient and the giver! Tell us how you have experienced the benefits of generosity.