Skip to content

Give for your health.

October 20, 2010

In my columns I write about the importance of being financially healthy. While this is important, it also is essential to be physically healthy. 

            Do you want to improve your health? Possibly extend your life? You may be able to do so by giving back — that is what some studies have found, anyway.

            A Cornell University study concluded that volunteering increases a person’s energy, self-esteem and sense of mastery over life. Michigan researchers who studied 2,700 people for almost 10 years found that men who regularly did volunteer work had death rates two-and-one half times lower than men who did not.

In a separate study, volunteers who worked directly with those who benefited from their services had a greater immune system boost than those whose volunteer work was restricted to pushing papers.

Other studies have shown how these positive feelings can enhance the immune system. The positive emotions also can release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.

Psychologist Robert Ornstein and Physician David Sobel are well known for their examinations of the health effects of altruism. In their book “Healthy Pleasures,” they describe what they call the “helper’s high,” a kind of euphoria volunteers get when helping others. They compare it to a runner’s high and claim it is caused by the body’s release of endorphins.

Because of all these health benefits, Stella Resnick says in her book, “The Pleasure Zone,” “the one who ends up getting the most from a good deed may, ultimately, be the good Samaritan.” 

If you want proof that giving supports a long, healthy life, take a look at the Sterling Lions. I am proud to be affiliated with this group of people, many who do not count their service in number of years, but in decades. A number

Pictured are some of the 65 Sterling Lions making a difference in their community.

are still going strong after joining the group 40 years ago or longer. 

At most community events, from the Relay For Life to July Jamz, you will find a group of Lions in their yellow vests helping out. Their pancake feeds and Easter egg hunts have gone back for generations.     

One of the best rewards from becoming financially independent is the ability to give back. Whether it is your money or your free time, you can find opportunities to give if you are not a slave to your job, trying to survive paycheck to paycheck.  

You do not have to be a millionaire to donate a little money. We are blessed to live in one of the most prosperous nations of all time. Out of the more than 6 billion people alive today, more than half, 53 percent, live on less than $2 a day. When one considers this fact, it makes it a little easier to see what we have to give.

            If you are going through a rough time and are worried about how you are going to make that next mortgage payment, it may not be the best time to give. If you are struggling to put food on the table, you probably should gain control over your finances before thinking about helping others out.

Once you do start to win financially, remember to think about how your money can work for others, not just yourself. You do not work hard and watch your expenses to increase your savings so one day you can become a Scrooge McDuck and swim around in your money. You make the daily sacrifices financially so you can make a difference in other’s lives.

            By mastering your finances, you are making a difference for your family and future generations. You also are making a difference for many when you can give back with your time and resources. And based on the research, it just may save your life.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: