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Dr. Mayo – A Recipe For Feeling Good

This simple act can be free, yet rewarding beyond measure.


by Dr Nicolle Mayo - January 6, 2019

Giving our time, efforts, and resources to others mutually benefits the giver and receiver; nothing new here, but the impact on mortality and lifelong satisfaction is really significant according to The Social Psychology of Generosity review of data on giving (Collett & Morrissey, 2007). When we give, we reduce mortality that might otherwise be compromised due to the constant stress we experience on a daily basis, which is ultimately also connected to a lot of chronic diseases many of us suffer from. Giving has shown to even be more powerful than exercising and just attending church. It has to be regular and genuine to really have a big impact, but it doesn’t need to be an elaborate act. We TRULY need to meditate on this idea because of the implications on others’ and our own lives.

All of the data, including that above, show that giving to others has long-term implications for our overall physical, mental, social, and even spiritual health (Collett & Morrissey, 2007; Poulin, 2013). Giving to others actually prioritizes what is truly valuable in our lives: people. People are important to connect to on a regular basis; we are relational beings. We need people to feel connected and thrive. When we are disconnected or isolated, we get stuck; this promotes mental health concerns, like depression and anxiety. A sense of purpose in connection to others brought by giving fosters a deeper sense of fulfillment and brings us joy. Research also supports the idea that when we give, we release dopamine (associated with rewards), endorphins (feel good hormones associated with euphoria and oxytocin (the cuddle and connecting hormone)), which is all tied to a deeper sense of tranquility. Interesting, right? This very idea seems like something we all strive to master, but fail to achieve when we pursue other things in life we think are or are told are fulfilling. The answer to finding a deeper sense of fulfillment partially lies in the simple, yet impactful act of giving! So, where do our priorities lie on the spectrum of helping others in comparison to fulfilling our own wants and needs? Are we motivated to change some of our current behaviors to reach out to others? If not, why? Perhaps in this new year, thinking about others in this way and doing something (even small) to help on a regular basis is a good enough goal to chase after.


Videography: Ethan Chabala

Video Editing: Ethan Chabala


Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Akiko’s, First Citizens Community Bank

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