benefits of generosity


There is no reason to believe that becoming minimalist will make one more generous. I do not contend that minimalists are, by definition, better than others or more giving than others.

However, I do believe that a minimalist lifestyle offers more opportunity for one to be generous. There are financial freedoms that accompany minimalism as well as more opportunities for one to invest their time. With that in mind, I was surprised to see so much scientific data supporting something that I have always believed: generous people are happier people.

  • Generosity makes you happier. Researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, working on a new collaborative project with the National Institute on Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging have discovered that there is a physiological basis for the warm glow that seems often to accompany altruistic giving. source.
  • Generosity makes you healthier. When you do something good for another person, you encourage the release of endorphins (otherwise known as the “feel good” chemicals) in your body which brings about a “helper’s high” and helps fight stress. Research has also proven that having a generous attitude greatly improves one’s immune system, extends a person’s lifespan, and acts as antidote to pain. source.
  • Generosity increases your life satisfaction. There is robust evidence that volunteers are more satisfied with their life than non-volunteers.  source.
  • Generosity generates happiness and happiness generates generosity. Thereby, fueling each in other in a circular fashion. Prosocial use of your money/time results in feelings of happiness which are likely to lead to future similar choices. source.
  • Generosity improves your relationship with people. People always enjoy the company of a generous giver to the company of a selfish hoarder. People are naturally attracted towards others who have an open heart to share with others.

How would you rate your life today? Do you need a boost of well-being, happiness, or self-esteem? If so, have you considered donating your time or giving away some money this weekend to a social cause you believe in.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. Christy Z says

    I have found embracing minimalism has made me more giving. When STUFF is not your focus, and people are, then giving is a natural byproduct.

  2. says

    Generosity is a big part of the meaning of life, minimalist or not.

    I enjoy your writing and visiting this site. Thanks for doing a great job!

  3. Mark says

    I think you’re implying generosity causes happiness, but this isn’t true all the time. I think your message appears muddled when you combine several conclusions about generosity and happiness together, especially in your last argument, where it is muddled because being a generous giver and a selfish hoarder are not mutually exclusive qualities.

    • di says

      In the past, I’ve been very generous to friends and family. For years, they continued to ask for more. When I had nothing more to offer, I no longer heard from them.

      This has made me rather sad.

    • di says

      At times, giving to Good Will is more satisfying, because there are no emotional ties. When giving to family and friends, you may tend to expect a small favor in return.

  4. says

    I am still on path to simplify my life, more I am doing it, I feel I have a long way to go and still lot to learn.

    But, I do feel more satisfaction in general compared to before. I give certain things more readily than before, as those things do not bring happiness that I thought it did once.

  5. DocMurphy says

    I have noticed that the link to the source for generosity makes you happier doesn’t work. Could you repost it?

  6. says

    I have learned to be generous since I was 7. When other people appreciate and use whatever I give, I feel good. You have a good reputation for doing that.
    As this happens, unfortunate ones will count on you in certain situations.

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