It's the start of a new month. February is not only the month that we take a day to celebrate love on Valentine's Day, or remember African Americans who have made great contributions to American society but it's also my birth month. So lots of positive things to look forward to. My plans for the month are to give back. This month I will be looking for ways to volunteer and give back to the community because whenever I give, it is such a rewarding feeling.
Have you ever heard of the "Helpers' High"? Well, Stephen Post, author of "Why Good Things Happen to Good People" says that there is science that shows giving money or time can not just feel good but can actually improve your health.
"Giving is as good for the giver as it is for the receiver. Science says it's so. We'll be happier, healthier, and even -- odds are -- live a little longer if we're generous," Post said.
"Public health isn't just about bugs and staying away from lead. It's about doing unto others, and at the right dose, science says it's very good for you," he said.
Post also says, "The helper's high has been measured physically," Post said. We know there's an actual physiological state. It's quite euphoric. The helper's high shows up in MRI brain scans."
"People who give money show brain activity that's associated with feel-good chemicals like dopamine -- the same brain activity that happens when you receive money."
"Those brain structures that are activated when you get a reward are the same ones that are activated when you give. In fact, they're activated more," he says.
I truly believe that giving back to others unselfishly is a way of blessing yourself. The quantity of what you give doesn't have to be really big because even the small ways you give mean a lot to others. Putting the needs of others ahead of your own helps to bring purpose and find a sense of direction.