In this week’s spotlight I wish to discuss giving. There are many forms of giving and they all lead to some interesting findings. For example, did you know that you’re hard wired in such a way that the brain’s reward centers light up, to use the words of neuro-scientists, when you do something as simple as write a check to a cause that you believe in? Think of that for a moment, the act of giving actually rewards you with the stress busting feel-good chemical known as endorphins.
Did you also know that the act of giving has been shown in research to add to many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, ameliorating depression, increasing self-esteem, lowering stress levels, and adding greater happiness and longer life? “According to a study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, people who gave social support to others had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t. Supportive interaction with others also helped people recover from coronary-related events.” 1
I have used this technique with clients and found remarkable results. The fact is, when you help another it defines you in a special way—it adds purpose to your life! When you know that your life matters to someone else, that you have gone to the aid of another in need, there is a silent reward that informs you of just how important one person can be to another.
One small act by one person can make a real difference and as I write this, the news is reporting record rainfall and flooding in Texas. The damage is devastating and the event will take years to recover from. So many people in need—it seems only human that we should all find a way to help. Perhaps by praying, giving a dollar or two according to what you can, or simply writing letters to the victims offering hope. There are so many organizations that will happily help you in your efforts to contribute something meaningful to those in need; a simple click of your mouse will reveal the right one for you.
I want to encourage each and every one of you to remember that whatever our differences, we are still one people. One people made up of one person at a time, one kind act at a time, one gesture of love and caring at a time, and this I’m sure you will find to be both personally healing and gratefully received. Remember, as Bill Wilson puts it, “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
As always, thanks for the read.
1 Wanna Give? This Is Your Brain on a ‘Helper’s High’