Thinking/doing good


“Doing good makes us feel good. Altruism enhances our self-esteem. It gets our eyes off ourselves, makes us less self-preoccupied, gets us closer to the unself-consciousness that characterizes the flow state”  (1).

 In other words, caring for others creates a psychological momentum and a sense of self-competence that makes us happier.  Brown argues that giving buffers stress, and involves complex hormones, such as oxytoxin and vasopressin, as well as a brain-emotion-immune nexus.

 The evidence is quite consistent that altruism, so long as it is not experienced as overwhelming, is associated with happiness, psychological and mental health, better self-rated physical health and functioning, and (on average) longer life, after adjusting for the standard set of potential confounding variables. (Stephen G. Post, It’s Good To Be Good: 2010 Annual Scientific Report On Health, Happiness And Helping Others)

 (1)   Brown, S., Nesse, R.M., Vonokur, A.D., & Smith, D.M. (2003). Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it: Results from a prospective study of mortality. Psychological Science, 14(4), 320-32

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