Giving isn’t just for fun, it can be life-saving.
Giving to others is the bedrock of step 12; the part of all 12-step recovery programs that says you gotta give to others as a strategy to save yourself. It’s a practical matter.
How many movies have we seen where — at death’s door — someone’s will to live comes from their need to give something to someone else?
Stuck in a rut? Find a person or project to give to. At the very least it will be a distraction and might get you out of your own way.
The research is clear. Giving money to another person is more likely to lift your spirits than spending money on yourself. See Money spent on others can buy happiness in the Harvard Gazette.
This New York Times article — Spend More on Society and Get More for Yourself — explains that American individualism has made individuals unhappy and, too frequently, sick. Another social research study finds that when people give to charities it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. See the Jorge Moll and colleagues paper at the National Institutes of Health website.