In life, there are different things that are better for your health than others. Walking and movement make your brain happy and your body healthy. Eating fruits and veggies gives your insides the kick they need to run smoothly. Talking out your emotions helps you be kinder to yourself. Donating to charity helps you find happiness in your own life. The list could go on! But today, we’re going to delve specifically into the health benefits you’ll receive by donating to charity. From increased happiness to improved self-worth, when you donate, you’ll find health in a variety of ways. Learn more below!
It’s a Stress Reducer
There are a lot of things we turn to in life to reduce stress. Some people walk, some people eat, some people craft—it all depends on the person. One of the activities or acts that people have learned help reduce stress is simply by focusing on someone else for a while. People go volunteer to briefly focus their brain on something other than their own struggles. Afterward, there tends to be a renewed energy with which they can face these problems.
The same is with donating in general. This typically comes from the happiness of people who volunteer and make charitable contributions. Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Tennessee even found that those who donated more had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t. Here, we can find a direct physiological benefit to charitable giving!
Giving Activates the Reward Center in the Brain
How else does giving affect your body? The next area to examine is your brain. Just like how movement creates endorphins, giving triggers a similar effect. In fact, a study done by a University of Oregon professor found that when one makes a charitable donation, the brain response mimics the one activated by drugs and other stimuli. You’ll notice a surge of dopamine and endorphins that seem quite “rewarding.”
So, while we turn to some things because we think they provide happiness, giving actually provides happiness. When we spark this reward center in the brain often enough, whether it’s by donating money, sending in clothing donations, or volunteering and helping the community, we see increased happiness.
It Improves Self-Esteem
Similarly, when you activate that reward center and reduce stress, you’re bound to see some positives in other areas of your life as well. One of those benefits is that charitable giving improves your self-esteem. This is for a variety of reasons, one being that donating is a selfless act at its core. Focusing so fully on helping others in need can actually spur along a greater sense of personal satisfaction and growth, simply because it feels good to help others.
When you donate money to a charity in need or send in donations to support an organization, you’re offering much-needed resources to a great cause. Helping others often helps yourself—that’s what you feel when you donate.
Brings About a Positive Mood and Low Depression Rate
Speaking of being in a positive mood, the wonderful web of benefits you gain from donating also leads to lessened depression rates. With positive self-esteem comes a more optimistic mood. As the studies we’ve discussed have shown, donating has a positive impact on both the mind and the body. These effects (endorphins!) are like activities that people tend to associate with joy and happiness.
Think of the walking example we gave earlier. When you walk or workout, it stimulates the brain to create and secrete hormones that spur happiness and joy. That’s the same sort of event that occurs when you give or donate. When you focus on making these sorts of activities a part of your daily or weekly schedule, then that can lead to an ongoing pattern of improved mental health. Therein lies the lower depression rates. Now, of course, giving isn’t the only solution, but when partnered with other practices, conversations, and medical help, it can help lower depression rates.
Can Lead to a Longer Life Expectancy
To understand this health benefit you’ll receive from donating to charity, we want you to think about the winter holidays. These times can come with a great deal of stress. You can learn all about the increase in stress, depression, and anxiety that skyrockets around the holidays. With that come several health issues, from headaches to insomnia, and more. Part of the reason many charitable organizations push for more donations during these times is that they know people need it. They know the communities they’re helping are in greater need, but they also know about the power donating can have on the donor.
Giving is good for you no matter the season because it acts to de-stress you and it really doesn’t require much effort from you. With one simple act of giving, you get a more relaxed holiday season. When you carry that thought through the rest of the year, you’re bound to reduce those rates of headaches, insomnia, and high blood pressure. It helps lead to a healthier life for you and for those you helped by donating!
It Improves the Community
While this health benefit may not necessarily impact you, it sure does make an impact on the community. And that’s something important to mention. You may feel urged to give to the world and to your community now more than ever. Whether it’s from the pandemic, from the planet’s climate, or from other societal events—whatever it is, donating makes an impact. Charitable giving doesn’t just improve your health, but it gives other people and organizations a chance to help other people’s health and well-being.
Your decision to donate to a particular organization may seem “small,” but its effects are much more far-reaching than you can imagine. When you give blood, for example, those 20 minutes could be the make or break for someone in the hospital. These are the sort of things that happen even when you donate money to a chosen organization or donate your clothes to GreenDrop. Charitable acts foster a healthier, more cared-for world. If that’s not enough of a reason to donate, we don’t know what is!
Hopefully, you recognize how many wonderful health benefits there are from donating to charity. The next time you’re looking for a place to donate, head to GreenDrop. We accept home goods and clothing donations in Delaware and other states across the East Coast. When you’re looking for a way to boost your spirits and help those in need, look to GreenDrop.