The gift that gives back!

73587541_S (2)Have you ever headed into the drive-through for your morning shot of caffeine and, when you get to the window, find out someone paid forward and picked up your bill?

Chances are it turned what was starting off as a routine day into something far brighter, the kindness of a stranger igniting a renewal of faith in the inherent good of mankind.

And at WellVia, we can tell you from the giving end, it puts a spring in the step of the giver as well!

But did you know studies are showing that the simple gift of giving has more far-reaching effects than we might ever have imagined? Here’s a few ways it not only improves your mood but boosts your health!

  • Those struggling with chronic health issues such as HIV and multiple sclerosis experience improvement in their condition when they indulge in generosity, says author Stephen Post, a preventative medicine professor at Stony Brook University, in “Why Good Things Happen to Good People.” Another study at the National Institutes of Health documented the “helper’s high” that comes with the release of endorphins in the brain when we act kindly. And studies at the University of Michigan and the University of California found that elders doing good for others substantially decreased their risk of dying within a five-year period.
  • A sense of gratitude is a great motivator in adopting a healthier lifestyle. According to studies, those who count their blessings not only approach life with a more positive attitude – a key element in maintaining good health – but also head to the gym more often. And this is a win-win, affecting the giver as well as the receiver.
  • Your generosity is contagious, in the best sort of way. Credit a release of oxytocin, say a number of studies, for the spread of doing good that happens after a single charitable act. It’s as if the recipient looks for ways to return the favor, in turn triggering a tsunami of kindness – and that kind of thing can only do a heart good!
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