You know the saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.” And maybe you halfway believe it. However, there is scientific evidence that you should fully believe it.
In a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, researchers showed that there are benefits for physical and mental health when social support is given.
“There is a strong association between supportive ties and health. However, most research has focused on the health benefits that come from the support one receives while largely ignoring the support giver and how giving may contribute to good health,” the researchers wrote in the study’s Abstract. “Moreover, few studies have examined the neural mechanisms associated with support giving or how giving support compares to receiving support.”
The researchers assessed 36 participants and their relationships: “a) between self-reported receiving and giving social support and vulnerability for negative psychological outcomes and b) between receiving and giving social support and neural activity to socially rewarding and stressful tasks.” After brain scans, it was found that giving support reduced stress-related activity in the brain, more so than receiving.
“These results contribute to an emerging literature suggesting that support giving is an overlooked contributor to how social support can benefit health,” the researchers concluded.
With that in mind, please consider supporting an IAVM member by participating in the Mentor Connect Program. Learn more about the program, also, during our free, one-hour webinar on March 23 at 2 p.m. (CST).
(Image: Craig Sunter/Creative Commons)