why good causes are good for your mental health
Have you ever wondered why when you do something nice for another person or participate in a charitable cause you feel good? Science has spoken, and has determined that it is eudaimonic well-being the one that explains how by doing something good, a really beneficial and deep well-being is unleashed within us. Performing acts of kindness and helping others can be good for people’s health and well-being, according to research published by the American Psychological Association in the ‘Psychological Bulletin’. “Prosocial behavior (altruism, cooperation, trust, and compassion) is a necessary ingredient of a harmonious society if it is to function well. It is part of the shared culture of humanity, and our analysis shows that it also contributes to physical health and mental,” says Bryant PH Hui, a research assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong and lead author of the research.
“Human beings are really designed to be rewarded when we do altruistic actions. Egoism is natural in the human being and necessary for survival. However, when we do something for others without expecting anything in return, it is as if the brain rewards us by activating dopamine, the happiness and pleasure hormone. That is why some people feel more happiness giving gifts than receiving gifts”, explains Inma Brea, an expert in human behaviour, ‘coach’ and mentor for executives and organizational leaders.
“Being generous makes us happy. It is an emotion that is associated with altruism and solidarity. I consider the effect to be like patting ourselves on the back, in that it makes us feel proud of ourselves and gives us an image of self-confidence. I would also like to comment on the thread of this topic how important it is to be able to be generous, but also to receive the generosity of others. Someone who is generous speaks to us about independence, the ability to act (not only financially), but also about being kind, teaching someone, devoting time to an activity… In other words, someone who can help, but it is also important to know how to be helped” , adds Alicia Reinoso, psychotherapist.
There are people who are unable to make a donation without letting others know… Are we talking about someone who needs the applause? Inma Brea believes so. “Indeed, there are people who need to be recognized as “good people”, because it is part of their identity. When someone has the need to be socially recognized for this quality, he is really capable of working hard for it; is always attentive to others, asks you about the family, offers to help you with the move, etc. It is not so much for the applause, but for reaffirming his own identity ”, he explains.
“Of course, this is a double-edged sword, because deep down he knows that he does expect something in return: love and recognition. Therefore, since it is not entirely altruistic, it generates some guilt, unconsciously, creating a vicious circle from the need to give in order to receive”, qualifies the expert in human behavior, ‘coach’ and mentor for executives and organizational leaders.
“As I mentioned before, we are alluding to the subject of patting oneself on the back, of being able to be happy with what one does, without the need for recognition from the other. But this happens with absolutely everything, even with their health (there are people who eat healthier when they are with people, or who take care of themselves because of the effect it has on their bodies, not for themselves, but for others to see) . In this case, they are people who only have the feeling of worth or that something they have done is valuable if someone else tells them or acknowledges it. In the end it can also be a trait of insecurity. It says something good about ourselves and it seems that we have to prove it”, comments Alicia Reinoso.
“Another possibility is a double face. Only when someone can see me do I behave well, but within the walls of my house I am the opposite… So it is not a disinterested generosity (which it never is, because it always makes us feel good to be generous), but in this case even less, because it seeks something beyond the supposed gesture of generosity”, warns the psychotherapist.
Social networks are launching more and more actions with philanthropic Purposes, so they are a great tool to help just by having your mobile phone in front of you. From the area of twitter philanthropy, lCalled TwitterForGood, we constantly work with NGOs and charities to harness the positive power of Twitter to make the world a better place. They do this by strengthening their communities through their platform, their employees, and their resources. “At Twitter we are convinced that public conversation and the open exchange of information can be an unstoppable force for good in the world. Building on that idea, our philanthropic mission focuses on reflecting and increasing the positive power of our platform through civic engagement, employee volunteering, charitable contributions and pro bono or in-kind advertising donations. In this way, Twitter can foster greater understanding, equality and opportunity in the cities and countries in which we operate. Twitter employees are involved in a wide variety of causes and philanthropic initiatives such as crisis and emergency response or technological literacy, among many others, “explains the Twitter team.
“Strengthening our communities is part of our DNA, and we strive to unite our company and community as a force for social good. And we do it from a broad perspective where we not only seek to help raise funds, but also make sure that organizations can use Twitter to reach vulnerable communities and spread their important work through our #AdsforGood program. social, in which philanthropy is present daily through the democratizing power of the platform and the altruism of the people who use its service. Thus, they raise money for those in need, share causes that need support, and mobilize change through powerful social movements.
Christmas is the time of the year when it is most common to make donations and participate in charity events, and as we have pointed out at the beginning, giving gifts makes us feel better on many occasions than receiving a gift, so we are talking about an ideal time to help… Even though behind these charitable actions, deep down, the desire to feel better is also hidden. If to improve our mental health and well-being we have to help others… Are we not facing the best tryptophan of the world?