Research proves a link between doing good and feeling good. The benefits of volunteering and giving back are not just that we help others, we’re actively improving our own wellbeing.
Received wisdom tells us that we do good because we care about other people. And that’s true – but it’s not the whole truth. At Companies for Good we have unearthed scientific evidence that doing good creates positive physical and mental effects. It appears to be strong evidence that shows that when we do good, we actually feel good. Here’s why:
One. It lowers our stress levels.
When we do good, our body releases chemicals like oxytocin and serotonin – hormones that reduce stress, blood pressure and depression. And that leads to healthier, longer lives. In fact, according to Carnegie Mellon University, people who volunteer around 4 hours a week are 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who don’t.
Two. It gives us ‘giver’s glow’.
When we do good, our body releases dopamine and endorphins, which give people a sense of euphoria and positivity – a phenomenon known as ‘helper’s high’ or ‘giver’s glow’ (yes, really!)
Three. It lights up our brain. Literally.
Amazing but true – doing good even affects our brain. MRI studies by Dr. William T. Harbaugh, professor at Oregon University, show that, when we do good, the part of our brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust lights up. Even thinking about giving money to a meaningful cause engages this evolutionary reward system!
So if doing good is so great for us, why aren’t more of us doing it? The truth is, it’s not always practical. Organising volunteering activities can be time intensive, and it can be expensive to cover the costs of the activity. Which is exactly why we founded Companies for Good:
We know from experience that businesses can make a huge positive difference for the world, but organising volunteering is a nightmare. It takes ages, you have a million other things to do, and navigating through the legal framework isn’t always easy. Companies ended up doing nothing. So we created a solution.
Join the good movement.
Marc Ruiviejo Cirera
Founder of Companies for Good