Often people will give a long list of benefits for giving money away, including the amount of help that it provides to people who are ‘less fortunate’.
But ultimately you should give money away because it is good for you. It makes you happy. True story.
There have been a number of studies done and they tell us these things…
Donating to charity makes us feel good. One study found that when people donated to a worthy cause the area of their brain responsible for cravings and pleasure rewards ‘lit up’. That is the same area of the brain that is active during sex and consuming chocolate; meaning that there is a pleasurable feeling when we give money away. The same study tells us that giving money away gives us the same feeling as ingesting an addictive drug or learning you have won the lottery. It’s good.
Secondly, giving to a worthy cause increases our happiness.
In another study, a group of people were given some money, either $5 or $20. One group was told to spend the money on themselves, by paying a bill or spending it on some sort of an expense or even a gift for themselves. The second group was instructed to spend the money on someone else or to make a charitable donation. The end result was that at the end of the day the second group was happier. Yep. The group that spent the money on someone else or made a charitable donation had a brighter perception of the world than the first group who spent the money on themselves.
The secret is that people feel good about themselves when they give, it strengthens social connections and the good feeling of giving lasts longer than the ‘hit’ we receive when we buy something for ourselves.
So, giving money away makes us feel good and makes us happier people, and it is cheaper and less damaging than addictive drugs. This is not brand new information but sometimes we forget these things.
Want to feel good? Looking to be happier? Why not give some money now – www.opportunity.org.au