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.