Did you know that when you make a donation to charity, your brain acts in a similar way to when you are eating chocolate? 

Thanks to technology, researchers are able to study brain activity when certain acts are taken.  In a study on charitable giving, when people donated to a worthy cause, the mid region of the brain lit up. This is the area of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, trust and is responsible for cravings and pleasure rewards such as chocolate.

Scientists also believe that this altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, creating a “warm glow” effect.  This response to giving is the physiological reason why you have a good feeling when you choose to give to others vs only spending on yourself. 

In “self reported” surveys, studies have shown that people who spend on gifts for others and donations to charities were happier than others who focused only on personal spending.

So giving can give you pleasure and can make you happier.

Giving is also good for your health. According to a wide range of research, different forms of generosity have been linked to better health, even among the sick and elderly.  In his book Why Good Things Happen To Good People, Stephen Post, a professor of preventative medicine at Sony Brook University, reports that giving to others has been shown to increase health benefits in people with chronic illness.

Consider celebrating your donation by letting your giving be made public or sharing it yourself, to encourage others to give.   Giving is contagious.  When you give, you don’t only help the recipient, you can spur a ripple affect through your community.

Giving monthly (even in smaller amounts) can maximize your happiness. At the Animal Care Sanctuary, our monthly donors are special donors we call our Life Savers.  These gifts are continuous and steady, and can be used for the animals in their hours of need. It easy to set up and allows you to plan your charitable giving in your budget.

~Ellen Feldman, Board President

To become an Animal Care Sanctuary Life Saver, please use this link:

https://www.animalcaresanctuary.org/donate-now/donate-monthly/

While it may not be as good as chocolate, it can make you happier.

References:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/5_ways_giving_is_good_for_you

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East Smithfield, PA 18817

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