This coming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. Thankful hearts are generous hearts; but maybe they are also healthier hearts. Philippe Tobler, associate professor of neuro-economics and social neuroscience at the University of Zurich, says that generosity makes us healthier.
According to Tobler, studies have shown that older people who are generous tend to feel better and enjoy better health. Other research indicates that spending money on others may actually lower blood pressure and be just as effective as medication or exercise. In an article by Time journalist Amanda Macmillan, Tobler is quoted as saying that “there is a positive association between helping others and life expectancy.” If you practise the art of generosity, there is less likelihood you will suffer from a lot of stress.
For Boomers and older adults, who have much wisdom and experience to share, this is good news. What will you share this coming Thanksgiving? More importantly, how can you build a spirit of generosity into your everyday living and make generosity part of your normal spiritual practice in the future? After all, it may just save your life!