When asked, many people will say that spending money on themselves makes them happier than spending money on others. When asked about the most satisfying way to spend time most people will say spending time on themselves or on projects that benefit them. However, neuroscientists have discovered that people who put others first not only live longer, they live happier.
Neuroscientists like Jorge Moll have conducted experiments that involve asking people to do acts of kindness towards those around them. They then examined how the volunteers’ brains responded to their behavior. They found out that giving or doing acts of kindness stimulates parts of the brain thus resulting in a warm feeling of pleasure and satisfaction.
The following are some of the benefits neuroscientists associate with giving and doing acts of kindness.
Giving results in good health
A research involving old people showed that those who do give and put others’ needs ahead of their own live longer. Neuroscientists explain that putting other people’s needs ahead of your own reduces stress (Inspirery). Doctors confirm that stress, though not an actual cause of illness, it is associated with many.
Giving promotes social action and cooperation
Neuroscientists have found that the general principle of giving is: give and it will come back to you. People who give or do acts of kindness provoke the same action in their recipients. As a result, one person’s giving creates a ripple effect of acts of kindness.
Scientists also found out that giving creates a sense of trust between the giver and recipient thus strengthening ties between relationships.
Giving results in gratitude
Research has shown that gratitude is one of the key principles in cultivating a happy lifestyle. Giving evokes gratitude. When you give you instill gratitude in the recipient and when you receive, the feeling of gratitude is evoked in you.
Jorge Moll is a renowned neuroscientist and the President of D’Or Institute of Research and Education (IDOR). He has been involved in many studies including the neural basis of human moral cognition and the moral affiliations of disgust: A functional MRI study. Jorge Moll passion to understand human behavior is driven by his desire to help people live full and healthy lives.