Why Giving to Charity Makes You Happier: The Science Behind Altruism | William Douvris | Community Improvement

William Douvris
2 min readJul 31, 2023

Many people give to charity wanting to make a difference in the world, but did you know that giving can also make you happier? Research has shown that altruistic behaviors, like giving to charity, can activate reward centers in the brain and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Let’s explore the science behind altruism and why giving to charity makes you happier.

Activates reward centers in the brain

Research has shown that giving to charity can activate reward centers in the brain, like the ventral striatum and the anterior cingulate cortex. These areas of the brain are activated when we experience pleasure from activities like eating or exercising.

Increases oxytocin levels

This is a hormone associated with social bonding and feelings of trust and generosity. Research has shown that giving to charity can increase oxytocin levels in the brain, leading to increased feelings of happiness and well-being.

Creates a sense of purpose

Giving to charity can also create purpose and meaning in life. It can increase satisfaction and fulfillment when people feel like they are making a difference in the world.

Improves social connections

Giving to charity can also improve social connections and increase feelings of belongingness. Giving to charity can create a shared purpose and community with others who support the cause.

Reduces stress

Research has shown that giving to charity can also reduce stress levels. Engaging in altruistic behaviors can lead to decreased levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.

Giving to charity can make you happier by activating reward centers in the brain, increasing oxytocin levels, creating a sense of purpose, improving social connections, and reducing stress. By giving to charity, you make a positive impact on the world and experience the benefits of altruism firsthand.

Originally published at https://williamdouvris.net on July 31, 2023.

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William Douvris

William Douvris, a Music Industry Workshop graduate, is a committed and talented musician located in Chicago.