Do You Want to Live Longer?

In Doug Lawson’s book, More Give to Live, Lawson writes about something those of us in the philanthropic world have long believed: giving is good for us.  When we serve others, help our neighbors, contribute to causes we cherish, we find joy!  And when we do things that bring us joy, we’re happier.  Over and over since Lawson wrote his book, science is proving that not only are we happier, we’re healthier, and we live longer. 

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Giving to charity—whether of time or treasure—can lower blood pressure, according to Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia.  The results of her research found significant change particularly when the causes a donor supports are personally meaningful.  When a donor feels satisfied through the act of giving, blood pressure is lower, and our risk of early death is reduced!

Helping others also reduces stress.  Michael Poulin, a researcher at the University of Buffalo, designed a study that found a significant relationship between the act of giving and a longevity. “Specifically, over the five years of the study, we found that when dealing with stressful situations, those who had helped others during the previous year were less likely to die than those who had not helped others…Our conclusion is that helping others reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality,” he said.   

Being generous can also enhance our mental health.  In a study done by the National Institute of Health, Jorge Moll documented that giving to charity activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, trust, and connectedness. Those positive feelings improve our moods.  Not only do we make an impact on others’ lives through our charitable commitments, but giving has an unintended, yet pleasant side effect!


 All told, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and improving mental health all contribute to a healthier, happier, longer life. 


Ken Blanchard, a prominent leadership and management guru, explains the concept this way: “I absolutely believe in the power of tithing. My own experience is that the more I give away, the more that comes back. That is the way life works.”


If you want help finding that special charity that is meaningful to you and makes the impact you intend, reach out to us at Hoplin Jackson Charitable Advisors. We’re here to ensure your giving experience brings joy to your life!

Nicole Hoplin