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2015-09-23

Giving to Charity Makes You Happy


So a couple weeks ago, I was fortunate and honoured to be a part of MitoCanada's charity event. I was able to sell a few books, and donated the proceeds to this wonderful organization.

What's great about this is that new research shows that giving to others not only makes us happier but can help lower our blood pressure. I'll talk about this new research in a minute, but first want to further support MitoCanada... with your help.

We are currently in the middle of Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week, which runs from September 20 through to 26 (this Saturday). If you purchase a book through the following link, I am donating the proceeds from every sale to MitoCanada.
http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000015733767

All sales through the link above from September 20th through to 26th will be counted (unfortunately sales through any other site cannot be tracked so be sure to use the link above).

If there was ever a time you thought you'd like to buy my book and read it, now is probably the best time. Please spread the work and forward this page to your friends and family and help me support MitoCanada and their mission to raise awareness around mitochondrial disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, and support relevant research in the area.

Now for that new study...

Previous research suggests happiness over an adult lifespan is a U-shaped curve (happiness is high in our 20s, reaches a low in our 40s, and returns to high levels again in old age (of course this is just a generalization and may not be true for everyone).

There are suggestions on why this is the case, but I won't get into those here. What this research did show, however, was that people who give money to charity tend to be happier and also healthier than others.

Similar conclusions were reached when studies in Canada and Uganda, two hugely different countries in terms of income and culture, suggesting this may be something intrinsic to humans, said the Elizabeth Dunn, the lead researcher.
"People who donate money to charity are happier in poor and rich countries alike," she said. "You don't have to have a lot to experience the emotional benefits of giving."

As well as the link between happiness and altruism, which she now thinks is fairly robust and well established, she said her more recent research suggests giving money away can tangibly improve one's health.

People who donate to charity have lower blood pressure, she said, even when controlling for factors like income, wealth, age and exercise, which suggests the giving itself is responsible.

Dunn measured people's blood pressure before and after giving, and found it fell when people gave significantly to other people or causes, but did not change when they spent money on themselves.
The extent to which people feel connected to the cause is also important, she said, with more of an effect when people feel personally connected to the cause to which they are giving.

"Giving is "not just heartwarming, it may be quite literally good for our hearts," she said.

So to conclude this post... please, help lower my blood pressure and purchase your copy of Life: The Epic Story of Our Mitochondria.  :)

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Source: Giving to Charity Makes You Happy, Middle Age Is Miserable -- Experts. Medscape. Sep 03, 2015.

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