Giving Makes Living Worthwhile

HeConnection-Encouraged-Giving Makes Living Worthwhile

Giving Makes Living Worthwhile. Winston Churchill said, “You make a living by what you earn; you make a life by what you give.”

Most of us know that if we eat our fruit and veggies, exercise often, and avoid smoking, we have a better chance of living longer and healthier lives. But your doctor may not have told you that regularly giving to others should perhaps be added to that healthy checklist. A paper led by Dr. Suzanne Richards at the University of Exeter Medical School reviewed 40 studies from the past 20 years on the link between volunteering and health. The article, which is freely available in the open access journal BMC Public Health, finds that volunteering is associated with lower depression, increased well-being, and a 22% reduction in the later risk of dying.

Studies show that serving others provides benefits to both your mental and physical health. This means that the time you spend serving or volunteering offers a double advantage: You help others and you’re also helping yourself. Serving others:

  • Improves physical well-being. The social interaction that volunteering entails can actually reduce heart rate and blood pressure, increase endorphin production, enhance your immune system, alleviate mild to moderate depression, and buffer the impact of stress.
  • Raises self-confidence and self-esteem. Evidence suggests that the experience of helping others can lead to a sense of greater self-worth and confidence. And volunteering can provide you with a sense of purpose, especially in tough times.
  • Encourages friendships that buffer against stress and illness. Volunteering and serving gives you the opportunity to meet and connect with new people, in new surroundings. It helps you build vital interpersonal ties and social networks that can combat depression and isolation.
  • May help you live longer. Studies show that being actively involved in ongoing volunteer work actually increases life expectancy while improving the quality of life at the same time.
  • The earlier you start, the better. Research tells us that those individuals who volunteer at an earlier point in their lives experience greater functional ability and better health outcomes later on in life.

It Is Healthier to Give Than to Receive

A study from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor found that among older individuals, those who are giving to others have a lower risk of mortalityThe people who offer some form of practical or emotional assistance to someone else have a 60 percent lower chance of dying than their peers who do not give to others or support anyone else. Perhaps that explains how Ebenezer Scrooge escaped an early grave.

Health-e-Solutions-Outlook-Matters-Giving Makes Living WorthwhileThe bottom line is that there is a relationship between helping others and your health, satisfaction and quality of life.  If you want to live a longer, happier, and healthier life, take all the usual precautions that your doctor recommends, and then get out there and share your time with those who need it. You just might like the feeling so much that it will become another healthy habit for you.  Congratulations to you if you are already serving people in your social sphere of influence, and being a caregiver to loved ones counts!

We tend to limit health to nutritional, metabolic and exercise factors. Collectively, we haven’t quite made the connection that health is also given by who we are, how we think, what we feel and believe, how we conduct ourselves in the world. Mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual factors, what we call our outlook on life, all play a tremendous role in developing the healthiest lifestyle for optimal #BloodSugarControl and long term success. Health is not just about what we do (diet, exercise, etc.). It is also about who we are at the deepest place of our being. This downloadable, printable special report on Improving Your Outlook is an essential resource for your long term success. It is often overlooked, but we have found that a person’s outlook on life greatly impacts their health, and health can greatly impact a person’s outlook. To #MasterDiabetesNaturally, your outlook on your condition is vital to success.

Sources and References

  1. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research.
  2. Graff, L. (1991). Volunteer for the Health of It, Etobicoke, Ontario:Volunteer Ontario
  3. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research.
  4. Moen et al., 1992; Lum and Lightfoot, 2005; Luoh and Herzog, 2002; Morrow-Howell et al.,2003
  5. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1998;47(1):69-79.Wheeler JA, Gorey KM, Greenblatt B. University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  6. Swanbrow, Diane. “People who give, live longer, ISR study shows.” University of Michigan University Record.
  7. “Changing Lives of Older Couples.” University of Michigan Institute of Social Research.
  8. Moll, Jorge, et al. “Human fronto-mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 17 October 2006.
  12. Caroline E Jenkinson, Andy P Dickens, Kerry Jones, Jo Thompson-Coon, Rod S Taylor, Morwenna Rogers, Clare L Bambra, Iain Lang, and Suzanne H Richards. Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:773 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-773.