Why giving is good for your mental health

Health experts say helping others also benefits you

We all know giving helps others, but it can also improve your mental health – experts say there’s a chemical response that takes place in your body when you do something nice for someone else.

If you help someone, give a gift, or volunteer, your brain produces what are called feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.

But when it comes to the feel-good side of giving, experts say a good tip is to stay within your means.

“You have to do what’s feasible for you and your family, your finances, and your time, because time is a gift as well. So if you can’t give financially, go help out at the humane society, hang out with the dogs or do something that brings you joy as well,” said Geralyn Fortney, Regional Clinic Director of Thriveworks Roanoke.

Fortney said even smiling at a stranger on the street or just being kind is a way to lift others’ spirits. She suggested visiting VolunteerMatch online or SHARE Greater Lynchburg’s website to find ideas on how you can give back.

About the Author

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.

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