How Giving Back Can Reduce Stress & Increase Happiness

Nov 29, 2021

The holiday season is upon us and it's time to spread some holiday cheer!

We all know how the Grinch’s Heart grew three sizes when he gave Christmas back to Whoville. But did you know there may be some science and truth behind that story? Research has shown that people with coronary artery disease that volunteered their time after suffering a heart attack saw their negative thoughts went down. Studies also revealed that charitable work in this group of individual reduced mortality rate (1,2,3).

Studies have found that there are more health benefits to volunteering and giving back, including lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, lower stress levels and overall greater sense of happiness. According to the National Institutes of Health, giving back stimulates pathways in our brain that release endorphins to create a “helpers high”.

In order to achieve this level of pay it forward happiness, you don’t need to become a philanthropist. It’s said that volunteering just 100 hours a year can show positive changes in your mindset and turn that frown upside down. 100 hours a year works out to 8 hours a month or 15 minutes a day or 2 hours a week.

Some organizations that Community Natural Foods have contributed to include The Alex Community Food Centre, The Mustard Seed, I Can for Kids, and Green Calgary, Skipping Stone Foundation, and Veteran Association Food Bank.