We all know that Yahshua said that it’s better to give than receive. But many have wondered just how this is so. What benefits can the “giver” expect to receive? Recent studies have shown that giving seems to be true to our inherent nature as social beings. For instance, as demanding as toddlers can be, most will soberly hold out their own pacifiers to comfort their sobbing siblings or share their food with the family pet.
Most people would admit that giving feels good. Why is this? Believe it or not, the feel-good response is actually built into our DNA.
The John Templeton Foundation was able to compile a 300-page annotated bibliography of such studies. MRI scans revealed that when people do good, dopamine is released in the brain. Dopamine is a hormone associated with pleasurable feelings.
Also discovered in these studies is the fact that those who do good for others had much lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Generous acts of kindness supply a feel-good hormone in place of a feel-bad one. We all could use less stress in our lives!
It has long been known that angry or depressed people have weaker immune systems. Doing good can strengthen your immune system by increasing levels of healthy antibodies that ward off illness. In addition, the studies also confirmed that elderly, retired people lived longer when they participated in volunteer activities for 2 or 3 hours per week!
There are many ways to give and most do not involve money at all. Why not send a cheerful card to someone who is ill? Or how about visiting a nursing home just to show compassion to those there? Or perhaps you could volunteer at your child’s school. Even sincerely praying for someone is an act of giving. May we all follow Yahshua’s words to be a giver!