4 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2015
  2. Sep 2015
    1. When we’re feeling down, the instinct is often to vent to friends. It’s good to have a support system, but if that’s all there is, it’s hard to get distance from what’s bothering you. Doing things for other people, thinking about other people, is like giving your brain a break from despair.”

      This reminds of a quote from George Pólya's book, How to Solve It, in which he states that if you don't know how to solve a problem, try to solve a smaller problem.

      Not exactly the same thing, but indirectly solving problems in other peoples lives may give you a sense of accomplishment, or meaning, that you need.

    2. “The narrow thinking that medications are the only way to control persistent pain,” Dr. Arnstein concluded, “has resulted in a lot of suffering.” Researchers have discovered a physiological basis for the warm glow that often seems to accompany giving. “The benefits of giving back are definitely biological,” says bioethicist Stephen G. Post, co-author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People. “Contemporary neuroscience has confirmed the connection between the physiological and psychological. We know now that the stress response, hormones, and even the immune system are impacted by, and impact, the pathways in the brain. MRI studies of the participants’ brains revealed that making a donation activated the mesolimbic pathway—the brain’s reward center.”
    3. People who were in better physical and mental health were more likely to volunteer,” reported the study’s leader, Peggy Thoits, a Vanderbilt University sociologist. “And conversely, volunteer work was good for both mental and physical health. People of all ages who volunteered were happier and experienced better physical health and less depression.