Through fMRI technology, scientists have discovered that giving actually activates the same parts of your brain that are stimulated by food and sex. The caudate, nucleus accumbens and insula are the areas of your brain that release the “pleasure chemical” called dopamine– the same parts that respond when you eat a dessert or receive money!

Altruism is the practice of concern for the happiness of others, resulting in a richer quality of life. The idea that altruism behaves like a “miracle drug” has been around for decades. We legitimately experience a euphoric feeling when we help others. It’s called the “helper’s high,” a term first introduced 20 years ago to explain the physical sensation associated with helping others. It’s a classic example of nature’s built-in reward system for those who help others. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in our brains to be pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and more meaningful.

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