Research shows charity can make you feel good

October 05, 2017 06:10 PM

With devastating images of hurricane-ravaged cities and countless people in need, many of us are trying to do anything we can to help.

It turns out the act of giving helps us feel better, too.

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Previous research has shown the reward center of the brain lights up when we give to others.

Psychologist Dr. Joseph Rock says whenever something we do feels rewarding, we're more likely to do it.

It doesn't have to be a large monetary donation. Actions like donating blood can help, too.

"There's so many things you can do and you don't have to judge yourself on how significant it is. The idea is, if I'm doing it with a bunch of other people, it's going to add up to a lot and it's going to help those people," explained Rock.

Dr. Rock says in addition to the immediate emotional response we get from giving, it can help lower stress. That's because when we engage with others, it helps take the focus off of our own problems, which is a good thing.


WNYT Staff

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