People in the United States are generous. They want to give back to their communities. People love the idea of making donations for veterans or to charities whose work includes helping families in need. What people may not realize is all the good that doing good does for them. Here are some ways that giving back to the community is good for you:
It lowers your stress level. It has been found that people who are miserly and embarrassed by it have increased amounts of cortisol, the stress hormone. When people opt to keep their money and not make donations to charity, they feel badly about it. When people give money or make charitable donations feel better about themselves and are less stressed out. Stress has been linked to a number of health issues so having less of it in your life will make you healthier.
- People who give, get. Multiple studies show that when people do something, making donations for veterans, for example, they will be rewarded in the future. It may or may not be from the person or organization to which they donated but it happens time and time again. Perhaps it is karma, people who make donations for non profit organizations will get something back, at some point down the line.
- People who donate are happier at work. Altruistic people tend to be happier with their jobs. Additionally, they are more committed to what they do and less likely to look for employment elsewhere. This is thought to be a part of the “helper’s high” that people who volunteer often feel. Doing good feels good. When people are happier overall, they are happier in their workplaces.
- All of us benefit from living in a more altruistic society. New research shows that being generous is a more helpful attribute that being selfish when it comes to long term success. Some research looked at people playing strategic games. The players who were more likely to cooperate, showing generosity of play, did better. More cooperation increased the success for everyone involved in the game in question. This may be counterintuitive to many who see generosity as a weakness but it is a strength.
- You live longer. Scientists have found that there is a link between being generous and living a longer life. Helping other people, and that help does not have to be in the form of a million dollar check but as simple as watching a friend or family member’s children, makes people live longer. This could be because of how much less stressed people who give back are. There has been a proven link between mortality and stress.
- It inspires others. There is a saying, “each one, teach one.” When you give or do something like make donations for veterans, someone will see you do it. This person will be inspired to do some good. Someone will see them doing something good and will be inspired themselves. In that way when you give back to the community, you are giving back in several ways. You are doing the generous thing but you are also making the community a more altruistic place.
- You will have a stronger marriage. It has been shown that generosity and healthy marriage go hand-in-hand. Happier marriages happen when the spouses do things for each other. They can be simple such as making the other person a cup of tea. The idea is not to give extravagant gifts or go on expensive vacations but to show kindness and compassion for the other person.
- People who give back are healthier mentally. Not only are there decreased risks associated with stress and early death but giving back to the community is linked to a decrease in depression. People who give back are just generally happier overall, which is a good thing for their mental health. Since giving back and giving to others, like making donations for veterans, makes people happier, it naturally leads to a better mental state of mind.
People who want to do something good, like make donations for veterans, have a lot of options. Donating cash is always one but there are other ways. Making clothing donations is something most people can do to help others and clean out their closets.