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Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

Strengthen Your Heart with Giving

February 26, 2015

Giving Better, Making a Difference, Talk About Giving

Strong HeartDuring the month of February, our hearts get lots of attention. Between Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month, we can’t ignore the importance of this organ. Our hearts are the center of our health, both physical and emotional. Most likely, you have seen lots of advice on how you can protect and strengthen this valuable organ.  Did you know that giving can also strengthen your heart? That’s right; giving has been proven to be good for your heart health, both physically and emotionally.

Numerous studies have been produced over the years proving that engaging in philanthropic activities leads to a healthier lifestyle. In 2013, scientists from the University of North Carolina and UCLA found that people whose happiness was based on service of others had health profiles showing a reduced risk of conditions such as diabetes and cancer. Another study found that those who volunteer live longer than those who don’t. It appears that our bodies’ internal systems are subtly pushing for us to give more.

Of course, giving also helps us emotionally. Through time, giving has been linked to lower depression, a decrease in stress, and improved relationships with others. When we give to others, we experience a “warm glow” or “helper’s high.” Like other highs, giving can be addictive and contagious to others, spreading the gift of altruism even further.   The “helper’s high” also makes us feel happy and happiness has been proven to lower our blood pressure, which leads to a healthier heart.

The more we give of our heart, the stronger it becomes. I hope you take care of your heart by giving a little to others today.

Cheers!

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