Helper’s High

Mar 2, 2022

In the autumn we are recommended to stay rested, nurture our hearts, and practice sattva, or goodness. Helping others literally makes us high. Neuroscience has demonstrated that giving is a powerful pathway for creating more personal joy. When we help others, our brains release oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones have the effect of boosting our mood and counteracting the effect of cortisol (the stress hormone). Researchers Jamil Zaki and Jason Mitchell conducted a study on altruism that showed when a participant was giving support, certain brain areas showed more activation:

🫀 greater caregiving-related activity

🫀 greater reward-related activity in the left and right ventral striatum

🫀 reduced stress-related activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and right amygdala today take a moment to talk to someone on the street that needs a moment of care and notice how amazing it feels. Repeat.

📸 Karnataka, 2019 when Sunil, the begar/guru, asked for a selfie instead of money.