Weekend Reading: How Generosity Changes Your Brain

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading power of generosity Weekend reading power of generosity
Weekend Reading

Can money buy happiness? Research says maybe – if you spend it on others.


Looking outward: With Thanksgiving and the holiday season right around the corner, you might be feeling an extra pep in your step, and science says there’s a reason why. A study conducted in 2008 weighed the emotional impact of keeping, versus giving money to others, and found that those who gave money away reported greater happiness.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that carrying out acts of kindness for others can actually raise your body temperature, giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling. In the same sense, volunteering can go as far as boosting your longevity and alleviating depression. Older individuals who volunteer are 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than those who don’t.

Thinking inward: Maybe “Giving” is the gift that keeps on giving, because it not only positively impacts you, but those around you. Above all, the impact you receive from giving will be much bigger in the way of the difference it makes for you, and others, if you clearly identify your values prior to the gift.