Generosity Cheers Mind, Body and Spirit

Altruistic Acts Activate Happiness Neurons in the Brain




zhuk _ ladybug/Shutterstock.com

A Swiss study gave volunteers $25 a week for four weeks, and told half of them to spend the money on themselves and the others to spend it to benefit others. Subsequent brain scans revealed a link between the altruistic acts and feelings of contentment, activating neurons in the ventral striatum associated with happiness. Even the intention alone to be more generous was enough to create these changes, and the amount spent did not influence the increase in levels of well-being. The discovery sheds fresh light on why many people feel gratified when giving, even when it costs them something.


This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Game-Changers Abound If We Seek Them

It has been most rewarding to see our community and our region embrace and share our philosophy that green living is healthy and healthy living is green.

Local Chiropractors

Chiropractors undergo rigorous training and licensing to treat a wide spectrum of conditions, often with a more holistic approach than traditional allopathic physicians.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Making Comeback

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day has been observed each year on October 24 since 2002 to increase public awareness of the progress, promise and benefits of these ancient Eastern modalities

Kick the Gluten Habit for Better Health

This family-friendly event allows attendees the opportunity to sample new, delicious products risk-free from more than 100 local exhibitors and attend free educational presentations hosted by industry-respected speakers.

Dallas Filmmaker Inspires Action Via Storytelling

He’s co-founder of the Deep Ellum Film Festival, the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival (now the Dallas International Film Festival) and a production company, M3 Films, LLC.

Add your comment: