Magazine article Work & Family Life

Studies Find Healthy Rewards for Giving

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Studies Find Healthy Rewards for Giving

Article excerpt

We've all been taught that it's better to give than to receive - and many of us have had the experience of actually feeling better after being helpful to someone. This effect has been called the "helper's high."

Now, it seems, we have scientific evidence to support these ideas. New York Times health columnist Tara Parker- Pope cites some of the research findings.

A BOSTON COLLEGE STUDY found that patients with chronic pain fared better when they counseled other patients who were also in pain. Thev felt less depression, less disability intense pain was reduced.

THE BUCK INSTITUTE FOR AGE RESEARCH in California found a connection between volunteerism and longevity among older people. After controlling for variables, researchers found that the elderly participants who also did volunteer work for more than four hours a week were 44 percent less likely to die during the study period.

SIMILARLY, A MIAMI STUDY of patients with HIV found that those who demonstrated strong altruistic characteristics had lower levels of stress hormones. …

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