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Generosity can make us happier
Studies find that generosity triggers the release of endorphins in our body, a phenomenon commonly referred to as a “helper’s high.”
And happiness makes us more generous
People who feel happy are more likely to be kind to others, creating an upward spiral of happiness and kindness.
Generosity is linked to lower stress and better health
One study found that people who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t.
Generosity can be contagious
People who come into contact with generous people often follow suit. In fact, research has shown that kindness can spread by three degrees—from person to person to person to person
Generosity is a skill that can be developed
Research suggests it’s possible to increase your capacity for generosity over time—for instance, by broadening your social networks, actively trying to take someone else’s perspective, or even by meditating.
For more on the science of generosity, visit the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.