That same holiday season, in the December, 2011 issue of Ode Magazine, one of my favorite reads, there was a comprehensive article on how helpful it is to give—not just for others, but for our own improved health and well-being. The author cites many examples of how good for us it is to give for others.
One of the major points that caught my eye pertained to the research of Stephen Post, Founder and Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University Medical Center. His research has shown that as humans we are hard-wired to give to others and we are rewarded when we carry out compassionate acts for others with the release of chemicals which make us feel good. These chemicals include dopamine and seratonin. He has also co-authored Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving. While I have not read this book yet, it is certainly on my list as I, like many survivors have experienced first hand that one of the best ways to heal from our own losses is to get involved in helping others—and I want to know all I can about how others are improving their own lives by living this philosophy.