You’ve heard the old saying: It’s better to give than to receive. Well, guess what – doctors agree! I’ll tell you how being generous to others can improve your health, courtesy of the experts at Oprah’s “O” magazine:
- Just thinking about being generous boosts your immunity. When Harvard University students watched a film about Mother Teresa helping orphans, the number of protective antibodies in their bloodstream surged. When they were told to think about times people acted lovingly toward them – or they were loving to others - the antibody levels stayed elevated for over an hour.
- Paying attention to others – and connecting with them - lowers your risk of heart attack. A study at Stanford University found that people who are socially isolated are four times more likely to die of heart disease than people who are socially active. Even people who are self-centered – and often use words like “I”, “me” and “my” – have a higher risk of cardiac arrest.
- One final health benefit of being generous: Researchers studied people who suffer from chronic pain, and those who reached out to others in similar pain felt 13% less pain. They also found their own pain less disabling, and were less depressed. Scientists think it’s because your body releases feel-good chemicals when you’re sympathetic to others.